Kauffman: Resigned to the tiny amount of space allotted customers at Barbacco's communal tables, Jon ends up coming around based on the eavesdropping and small plates on the "micropayment plan." However, the micro-glasses of wine seem to end up with macro-consequences for the bill, so be warned. Loud, but the food Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin's more casual effort "scales down well." 230 California Street, San Francisco, (415) 955-1919
Reidinger: German touches like sausage and pretzels "are de rigeur at the moment?" We'll have to take Paul's word for it, at least regarding Urban Tavern. Not too loud, there's a vegan option, the deserts are good, if pricey, and the wine list at the hotel-housed establishment is half-price on Sundays and "chef Colin Duggan's cooking holds up its end of the deal." 333 O'Farrell, San Francisco, (415) 923-4400
Finz: Since the Bauer chose to wax philosophical yesterday (see note below) on "Menus that capture the essence of place" at Osteria Stellina and Chez Panisse, we turn to Stacey Finz, who went looking for divine grits at 1300 on Fillmore's Sunday gospel brunch. The crowd is diverse, family friendly, with two seatings at 11 and 1. Not much about the food, but "the menu has been changed from the original fixed-price three-course to a la carte, with a $5-per-person music surcharge," in case you were wondering. And really, how wrong can you go with cheese grits?
Please bear with us, we are under new and changing management, and Michael Bauer's weeks-old review of the Boot and Shoe Service was both the lead article on the SF Gate food page today and in the site's RSS feed. Apologies!