After reading the near-orgasmic Bar Agricole reviews from Madame Unterman and Sir Bauer, Monsieur Kauffman's praise for the new "idealism-fueled" bar-staurant and its "industry supergroup" of participants reads thin and tempered. There's no questioning Kauff is in awe of the "deftly composed" cocktails, but sometimes Brandon Jew's "simple and garden-focused" menu makes him feel like he's "dining on comfort food on an opera set." Final verdict: "I don't know that I'd make a night of it at Bar Agricole again, but cocktails with a few farm-to-table snacks? Any night of the week." [SF Weekly]
Craving Vietnamese food after his Southeast Asian vacay, Bauer B?m goes to Palo Alto's Tamarine, conveniently due for its update review. It's unclear if the experience is fully enjoyable or not: "as with the restaurants in Vietnam, the offerings paled compared with some of the street food;" "the first collection of appetizers called Tamarine Taste ($17) arrived late with its "almost gummy" spring roll; and "service and pacing also lagged." But then "teamed chicken ($19) is a highlight, plump and tender," and "the pace picked up by dessert." Translation from Bauer to English: 2.5 stars overall.
Reidinger is hit by two things when he visits Skool in Potrero: 1) the unlikely coincidence of a pizza oven and a seafood house 2) the atmosphere: "It's sleek, elegant, open, and warm, and the wood makes all the difference." So we can't help but wonder about the food: "unlike the interior design — it too often goes too far and seems complex for the sake of being complex." And even though servers recite things in such a way to make Dinger "feel as if I were watching one of those pharmaceutical ads on television," still finds a "a treasure trove of complexity" in the squid ink spaghettini and enjoys a flatbread with goat cheese from the formerly questioned pizza oven. [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: The Marin IJ thinks Tavern at Lark Creek is in its heyday, Metro SV tries the totally new menu at Ristorante Fratello in San Jose, the EBX goes for Mediterranean at Zaki Kabab House, The Merc finds "plated perfection" at Hachi Ju Hachi in Saratoga, second Chron Datebook review has 2 stars for Ottavio Osteria in Walnut Creek.
Bar Agricole. [Photo: Food GPS]