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Last Week in Reviews: Bauer Gushed Over Trestle, Restaurant 1833

Plus, Kane finds "stellar food" at Lord Stanley.

Patricia Chang

Last week, Bauer wandered down to Monterey to check out Restaurant 1833's progress under new chef Jason Franey (previously of Canlis, in Seattle). He was immediately enamored of the restaurant's atmosphere, which "walks the line between honoring the past and channeling a contemporary vibe." This is the critic's first review of the restaurant since former chef Levi Mezick earned the restaurant a three star review. According to Bauer, Franey has created an "entirely different, but equally stellar, menu." Creative combinations like baby back rib meat wrapped in pastry and served with fish sauce, or smoked sturgeon crusted with chicken skin and baked potato panna cotta, avocado mousse and snow peas stand out; the chef's "technical skill is seen on every plate." Three years looks good on the restaurant, causing Bauer to deem it a "must-visit stop" in Monterey. 3.5 Stars [Chron]

At Trestle, Bauer was overwhelmingly pleased to find that "the interior is stylish, the service is refined, and the food is excellent." Though he looked, he "[couldn't] find any area where corners have been cut" at the $35 prix fixe restaurant. The service, orchestrated by Ryan Cole (Michael Mina), is "relaxed yet thoroughly professional," among the best Bauer's found. Chefs Jason Halverson and Ryan Cerizo's  "modern approach to combinations and plating" offers a style that "will please a wide swatch of diners," but with "enough innovation to make the dishes contemporary." The menu varied on each of his three visits, but some favorites included a soup of roasted tomato with burrata, cubed focaccia and basil, as well as a seared fillet of branzino over charred leeks and cauliflower, with greens and browned onions, all of which "blended seamlessly." Desserts were equally captivating on each visit. The critic concluded that per the restaurant's mission to "create the foundation for a proper meal," the restaurant deserves "proper applause," and possibly even a standing ovation. Three stars. [Chron]

In other news, Peter Lawrence Kane headed over to the newest addition to Polk Street, Lord Stanley. There, he was a bit nonplussed by the decor, which he felt was overwhelmingly cold. However, he found that what Lord Stanley does have "in abundance," is balance. Chefs Rupert and Carrie Blease expertly weave their dishes into "a smart composite," bedecked in flower buds. A starter of onion petals with sherry vinegar was "refreshing," while the marinated heirloom tomatos atop pain d'epices and topped with rare goat cheese and black garlic tapenade was "as beautiful as it was tasty." Simply put Kane found that, "the food is stellar, but "the dé not." While acknowledging that his tastes aren't for everyone, Kane found that the restaurant "looks like an art gallery without any art," and that "the restaurant's emphasis on culinary technique and presentation comes at the expense of nearly everything else." [SF Weekly]