Well friends, the dust settled this weekend on Bauer's much-sweated annual list of Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants. But debates about his decision-making skills continue to swirl. Three ommissions from last year's list are no-brainers due to closure over the past months: Jack Falstaff, Cortez and Bistro Aix (which will reopen later this year); and it's no surprise Nick's Cove and Kokkari didn't make it, as we heard all about Bauer's sub-par '09 experiences at both. Before diving deeper, let's pause for a moment and digest this year's 18 rookies, in no particular order:
Baker & Banker, Nombe, Press (St. Helena), Tipsy Pig, Wexler’s, Etoile (Yountville), Frances, RN74, Sante (Sonoma), Solbar (Calistoga), Chapeau, Neela’s (Napa), Adesso (Oakland), Flour + Water, Osteria Stellina (Point Reyes Station), Scopa (Healdsburg), Frascati, Limon
On his blog post this morning, Bauer reveals the restaurants that were kicked off the list this year, conceding Moss Room, Gitane, Nettie's, and Matterhorn were particularly hard to let go. Keep in mind: in Sunday's print edition, Bauer fesses up to a bit of cheating. In two instances, he made room for newcomers by squeezing them onto an old listing: Barbacco/Perbacco and Pizzaiolo/Boot & Shoe Service. He also alludes to much difficulty with the final three cuts. We'd hazard, Moss Room and Nettie's were particularly hard for him to let go. Could it be Bauer had that much trouble discarding the fondue festival at Matterhorn?
What's your feeling on the Top 100? Didn't Limon peak years ago? Is Tipsy Pig really that good? And isn't it a bit soon to be adding Frances? Release your thoughts to the world in the comments.