Hearts and flowers Bauer pens a nostalgic ditty on his 25th year writing about food in the Bay Area: a year he truly believes has been the best for openings. He goes on to list his "best new restaurants" of 2010, "guideposts for the trends that will eventually reshape the dining scene," like foraging, Asian influences and casualization (a.k.a. the uncoolness of white tablecloths and fine china). Without further ado, the cream of Bauer's crop: Frances, Marlowe, Oenotri (Napa), Saison, Prospect, Ippuku (Berkeley), Bar Agricole, Benu, Commonwealth, Plum (Oakland) and Michael Mina.
Now take a look at this alongside Kauff's trip down 2010 memory lane. His top 5 dishes span more price points and genres and aren't confined to new places. Also, Kauff focuses on specific dishes that punctuated the year: beef shank and marrow pot pie with a pisco punch at Comstock Saloon; rack of lamb with chanterelles, mustard greens and root beer jus at Sons and Daughters; grilled pork neck at Chabaa, sizzling cumin lamb at Mission Chinese Food and Margherita pizza at Una Pizza Napoletana. Further shouts go out to Korean To Hyang and Chinese Hakka, both in the Richmond; Sanbox Bakery in Bernal, Commis in Oakland, Barbacco in the FiDi, Ruchi and El Norteño in SoMa and El Perol. Commonwealth and Ippuku are the only Bauer overlaps.
And as always, the bloggers' opinions are worth consideration. FoodGal gives us "My Fave Eats of 2010," GrubStreet has "The Year That Was: What Seventeen Local Chefs Will Remember About 2010, The Accidental Wino adds "10 Things I'll Eat Again in 2011" and Ulterior Epicure brings on his "best of 2010" with all manner of cool arty pictures.