Bay’s Best Eateries

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Well friends, the dust settled this weekend on the San Francisco Chronicle's food critics much-sweated annual list of Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants.

But debates about Michael Bauer's decision-making skills continue to swirl. Three omissions from last year's list are no-brainers due to closure over the past months: Jack Falstaff, Cortez and Bistro Aix (which will reopen later this year); and it's no surprise Nick's Cove and Kokkari didn't make it, as we heard all about Bauer's sub-par '09 experiences at both. Before diving deeper, let's pause for a moment and digest this year's 18 rookies, in no particular order:

Baker & Banker, Nombe, Press (St. Helena), Tipsy Pig, Wexler’s, Etoile (Yountville), Frances, RN74, Sante (Sonoma), Solbar (Calistoga), Chapeau, Neela’s (Napa), Adesso (Oakland), Flour + Water, Osteria Stellina (Point Reyes Station), Scopa (Healdsburg), Frascati, Limon

2010 list exiles and ruminations here

On his blog post Monday morning, Bauer reveals the restaurants that were kicked off the list this year, conceding Moss Room, Gitane, Nettie's, and Matterhorn were particularly hard to let go. Keep in mind: in Sunday's print edition, Bauer fesses up to a bit of cheating. In two instances, he made room for newcomers by squeezing them onto an old listing: Barbacco/Perbacco and Pizzaiolo/Boot & Shoe Service.

He also alludes to much difficulty with the final three cuts. We'd hazard, Moss Room and Nettie's were particularly hard for him to let go. Could it be Bauer had that much trouble discarding the fondue festival at Matterhorn?

· What would you add or subtract from the Chron Top 100 List? 2010 [Chowhound]
· What's in and what's out of the Top 100 restaurants [BauerBlog]

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