The Kauff has a hard time at Delfina offshoot Locanda, calling it "gawky and fumbling." But he says the "awkwardness bears waiting out." Kauff's dishes "were peppered with flaws," and the service "wasn't yet up to the $70-per-person level." There are, however, a few high points, like the interior ("gorgeous") and the Nonna del Diavolo ("one of San Francisco's best summer drinks"). The restaurant's saving grace, at least in the eyes of Kauff, is Anthony Strong's breaded, deep-fried lamb brains: "internationally exceptional." [SF Weekly]
And here's Reidinger, calling Zero Zero the "apex" of "pizza chic." To begin with, it's popular: "...being upstairs at Zero Zero on a busy weekend night is a little like trying to work your way through the break room of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog." Pizzas are "are elegant and restrained." Pizza aside, "...the food [is] beautifully conceived and presented, although several dishes struck me as being on the verge of too salty." Reidinger ends, deciding "Zero Zero's best feature is probably its build-your-own-dessert option." [SFBG]
Bauer Boots remembers Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen exists in Napa. Then he revisits chef Cindy Pawlcyn after eight years and calls the restaurant "revelatory:" "This is a restaurant that has stood the test of time and looks as fresh today as it did when it opened...The food has also remained true to form...It feels as if little has changed, which means a lot." Some dishes, like chicken fried steak, falter, but "what has improved noticeably since my last visit is the service." In the end, it's 2.5 stars. [Chron]
The Elsewhere: Birdsall finds "an alternate version of how the Slow Food movement might have looked" at Berlyn's Eatery, The Merc weighs in on three wine bars: Danville's Stomp!, Oakland's Enoteca Molinari and Berkeley's Cioccolata di Vino and the Marin IJ tries some new things at Sausalito's Dipsea Cafe.