The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena has been open for about 7-months since its million dollar kitchen revamp, and Michael Bauer is here to verify that it is still up to four-star snuff. After four courses, he stops analyzing and gives into the experience, deeming it "quite a ride." However "overly friendly" waiters and "incongruous" music stifled the evening and an additional phone call before the dinner to confirm information was "overkill." Still with dish after dish that "captures the sense of place," an excellent review could not be stopped. Meadowood finishes strong again with 4 stars. [Chron]
SF Weekly's Anna Roth gives the run down on Bernal Heights's 331 Cortland where, she writes: "The communal spirit of the place is enough to warm your heart." Going from station to station at the artisanal market, she finds a new "tasty" pumpkin and squash curry that "packs the heat" at Eji's Ethiopian. "The ultimate grownup tuna fish sandwich"is another highlight from Paulie's Pickling. Finally she cozies up with Anda Piroshki whose Russian "hot pockets" are "as satisfying as a reverse-engineered hamburger." [SF Weekly]
Exploring the local world of ring-shaped excellence, SFBG's Virginia Miller gathers her picks for the area's best bagels and donuts. She reviews nationally recognized shops like the Mission's Wise Sons Deli (for its "excellent bialys") and Dynamo Donuts ("with beautiful Campari or spiced chocolate doughnuts") with underdogs, like new pop-up Schmendricks, Oakland's newcomers Donut Savant and Doughnut Dolly, and veteran Bob's Donuts in Nob Hill. However she writes that not all bagels are created equal. "Less chewy" Montreal-style Beauty's Bagel in Oakland adds variety, but she's not a fan of the "NY prices." [SFBG]
THE ELSEWHERE: EBX digs the Sunday buffet at Soul's Restaurant in East Oakland; The Merc wines-and-dines at Latin American spot Destino in Oakland; Marin IJ find pizzaz at San Anselmo's Pizzalina; and Chron has two stars for Surf Spot in Pacifica.
— Ashley Mason