Though he continues to insist on anonymity, the city's longstanding critic for The SF Chronicle, Michael Bauer, is now giving fans the opportunity to be "lavished with kindness," just like he is. Available through the site IfOnly.com, there are two charitable opportunities for diners to interact with critic greatness. First, "Help Review a Restaurant" and accompany the "undercover" critic on a three-course evaluation, benefitting The Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund:
Experience the thrill of going undercover as you review a top Bay Area restaurant. Your partner? Acclaimed restaurant critic and San Francisco Chronicle Executive Editor, Michael Bauer. You and a friend will be a part of the evaluation with an intimate three-course meal including wine pairings, which will help Michael narrow the list for his 'Top 100" restaurants in the Bay Area.
Or just go to dinner with Bauer and your best pals at one of his faves (Boulevard, The Slanted Door or Chez Panisse), for $2,000, an experience "akin to hanging out with the world's biggest rockstar," benefitting The Edible Schoolyard. (Food and drinks are not included, though an autographed copy of "Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants" will be provided.) From the site:
Michael Bauer is a writer of considerable stature in the culinary world. His restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle change the destinies of restaurants and the careers of chefs. Dining with him is an experience akin to hanging out with the world's biggest rockstar. You will be lavished with kindness and treated like a royal as Michael is respected, beloved, and sometimes feared in some circles. IfOnly has arranged for the James Beard award winner to eat out with you at one of the bay's acclaimed restaurants. Choose from a list of his favorites: Slanted Door, Chez Panisse, and Boulevard. Ask him anything food related and you will get candid and astute opinions from this arbiter of taste.
While food and beverages are not included as part of the experience, access to one of the country's most notable food critics is on the menu. You will also leave with an autographed copy of Michael's latest edition of Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants, considered a bucket list and bible among the town's gourmands.
It's truly the opportunity of a lifetime. And please, whoever buys this: we'd like a full report on our desk in the morning.