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Unterman Calls Locanda "Ancient" & New," Kauff Thinks Txoko Overthought, Bauer Doles Out 3 Stars to Press, More!

The Untermagnificent takes her turn at Locanda, digging into "fantastic" casarecci pasta with pigs feet, "huge, luscious oxtails alla vaccinara," and guinea hen leg: "one of this town’s great dishes." She recommends sitting at the "postage stamp table" at the back of the restaurant to take in the "retro-moderne Roman decor." It reminds her of Fellini circa 1960, while "Locanda’s Roman cooking strikes me as both very ancient and very new." [Examiner]

At the outset of his Txoko review Kauff says the new North Beach Basque restaurant is "thrumming with ideas and good cooking, though less overthinking is in order." He feels "[chef Ian] Begg has spent more time thinking up dishes than considering what it is like to eat a meal at his restaurant." Dishes waver between "overthought" to "marvelous, complex," and "the best part of the menu at Txoko may be Begg's cheese plates," especially a paring of sheep's cheese with roasted baby carrots that "isn't just provocative, it's haunting." [SF Weekly]

Wine Country Bauer says St. Helena's Press is "in many regards...the ideal Napa Valley restaurant." The interior "one of the most stunning in the valley;" Stephen Rogers' menu, "straightforward." He enjoys a chopped salad, beef tartare and a 10-ounce strip steak that's "one of the best around." For dessert it's banana tart and strawberry shortcake: "It's simple, to be sure, but everything in the valley should be this simple." 3 stars. [Chron]

The Elsewhere: The Merc checks out "sleek, new" Oyama Sushi in Lafayette, Marin IJ finds quality suffers at Sausalito's Aurora, Bargain Bite hits Wrap N' Roll in Berkeley, Bar Bites does Skates on the Bay and the EBX finds good soul-food-style BBQ at Berkeley's Smoky J's Q House.

[Photo: FoodNut]


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557 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA