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Bauer Loves Poggio, Roth Annoyed at Saison's Salon

[Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux]

Bauer is still feeling amorous about Sausalito's Poggio, "from the rich marble and mahogany interior with large windows that can be thrown open to let in the marina breezes, to the soulful Italian-inspired food." New chef Benjamin Balesteri impresses with a "perfect representation of the Neapolitan style" pizza and "excellent" agnolotti, and Poggio's homemade charcuterie, paired with local melon, had Michael "feeling blessed." Aside from the "mildly disappointing" halibut, the crema di limone topped off what sounds like an Italian party in Bauer's mouth. Three stars. [Chron]

Anna Roth took the plunge at the Saison bar ("pretentiously called 'the salon'"), to see if the restaurant's famously high prices are worth the money. The result? "Gorgeously executed dishes" that often left Roth "utterly unaffected." Roth found the salon "as casual as a cravat" and the menu occupying a "weird gray area" between bar bites and chef Joshua Skene's high-end vision. The decor was "like a living room spread in Dwell magazine", service was "obsequious" and the soundtrack a "low, incongruous murmur" of '80s music. The $40 wood pigeon elicited an "electric reaction," and the popcorn ice-cream sundae and blancmange desserts were lively, but the cocktails and unsatisfying dishes left Roth cold (and hungry, and broke). "I'll leave the conspicuous consumption to the foodies who can afford it." [SF Weekly]

The Examiner's Molly Gore checked out Amawele's South African Kitchen, and dubbed the Rincon Center food court spot "worth some fuss." It's run by twins who hail from Durban, so Indian flavors hold sway in dishes like the bunny chow (curried chicken and potatoes poured into a hollowed-out quarter-loaf of white bread), which Gore unapologetically, if perhaps unwisely, ate on BART. The pies are "better than they look" and the butterbean roti wrap was a favorite. Gore found the general affability of the place "intoxicating": "I relished every bite and the weirdness of the restaurant's locale." [SF Examiner]

Despite a lack of strong feelings about bagels, Beauty's Bagels has Cynthia Salaysay "closer to becoming a convert," especially the organic fried-chicken sandwich on a lightly toasted salt-and-pepper bagel. Chef/owner Blake Joffe's Pizzeria Delfina pedigree shines with Montreal-style bagels that are "dense and a little on the dry side, but with a crust that snaps." The smoked fish and cold salads get a nod, but Salaysay couldn't get enough of the "game-changer": a bagel dog served only at Friday lunch. [EBX]

Last but not least, Josh Sens took the month off to drop his massive best of 2013 list, a year that's so far "erased the line between haute and humble." The list defies summary, so here it is in full. [SF Mag]

Poggio

777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 415 332 7771 Visit Website

Saison

178 Townsend Street, , CA 94107 (415) 828-7990 Visit Website

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