Less than five months after an update review of St. Helena's Press, Bauer once again made the journey to wine country to give the restaurant, and its new chef Trevor Kunk, a fresh look. Newly imported from Dan Barber's Blue Hill, Kunk "is clearly a good fit for the restaurant," and the "stripped-down nature of the offerings allows the ingredients and his exacting and understated techniques to shine." A radish cocktail was "simple but elegant," a $42 piece of halibut "tasted like summer had come to Napa Valley," and the dry-aged 14-ounce rib eye "was one of the best pieces of meat I've had since leaving the Kansas farm country." Though "some may question whether eating at Press is worth the price," it buys you an experience from "one of the best chefs in Napa Valley," plus great service, a "beautiful" interior and "the largest stash of vintage California Cabernets in the world." "Kunk seems to have brought it all together." Three stars. [Chron]
Anna Roth took a break from the review circuit to pen this thoughtful take on chicken wings. Read it and drool.
Moving right along, we have Wendy Hector's take on the Dogpatch's Long Bridge Pizza Co., which doesn't overthink its "carefully crafted pies." "Not trying to out-gimmick anyone," there's "nothing trendy or clever, nothing avant-garde" and "nothing outlandishly expensive" about this offering. But "on a menu rife with simplicity, this pie brims with meaty, savory decadence," with Hector's favorite the pepperoni, a "textbook-perfect, soul-meltingly nostalgic pie, crispy and oily in all the right places." [Examiner]
Luke Tsai, meanwhile, tried out an "all-you-can-eat bonanza that must rank up there with the most sumptuous in town," courtesy of Oakland Brazilian-Italian spot Galeto. From two Espetus alums, Galeto is part steakhouse, part nod to an all-you-can-eat style restaurant developed by Italians in southern Brazil. "Heaping plates of pasta, fried polenta, a well-stocked salad bar, and, most notably, a kind of rotisserie-grilled young chicken" all characterize this type of establishment, and it's hard to navigate without filling up. "Save your stomach for the meat," says Tsai, noting the "smoke-kissed, herb-infused" chicken, "lush, buttery" top sirloin, " and, sadly, "dry and overcooked" pork tenderloin. Value-conscious parents should note that kids under six eat for free, but the best deal is weekday lunch, when the restaurant charges half the price for the same amount of food. [EBX]
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