For his Thursday showcase, The Great Bauerino revisits Bar Tartine. He last reviewed the Valencia Street eatery when Jason Fox first took over the kitchen about two years ago, and as Bauer saddled up to the counter this time around, he found things haven't changed too much:
While many things were similar about my two experiences, one thing was very different: the prices. Two years ago, most appetizers were less than $11; now only two of the seven are in that range ... It was good, to be sure, but desserts aside, the rest of the meal seemed a bit pricey for the neighborhood and the surroundings.
Some dishes (liver, veal shoulder) hit high notes, but it's clear that value is on MB's mind lately, and he deems Bar Tartine overpriced for "the neighborhood and the surroundings" (what do you think about that, Missionites?). Anyway, Fox is a guy who can cook, and in the end, Bar Tartine maintains the same 2.5 stars it notched in '07. [Chron]
This week, it's Carey Sweet who gets to play Cher to Michael Bauer's Sonny, and she has a solid deuce for Healdsburg Bar & Grill, now under the control of the Cyrus boys. Though HBG remains a hotspot of sorts, Sweet suggests that things have gone slightly downhill since the changeover: "I still like the place, and the boisterous crowds indicate a lot of others do, too. Yet, if you expect a premium Keane-Peyton experience, you may be a bit let down." [Chron]
Paul Reidinger eschews the Dosa and Udupis of the Mission in favor of some real kick at Spicy Bite: "Given the centrality of India to vegetarianism, it's not surprising to find that Spicy Bite is vegetarian-friendly in addition to being spice-hound friendly ... But while service often stalls at a restaurant that does a sizable take-out business, this isn't the case at Spicy Bite." [SFBG]
Meredith Brody wanders into Mint Plaza for a meal at Chez Papa Resto, which turns out just fine, sans any peaks or valleys: "The main courses were uniformly successful ... We were surprised to realize when we left that we'd been there almost three hours, not because of any service lapses, but because we were having such a good time." [SFW]
THE ELSEWHERE: The PressDem thinks Ubuntu is "beyond fresh," The EBX gets existential at Oakland's Mua, Lady Hopstress rides her bike to Range/Front Porch, the Bunrabs stop by the new Toast, Single Guy googles Calafia (get it??), Bar Bites finds a neighborhood soju joint in Rohan, Bargain Bites is at San Mateo's Dil Khush Fresh Fast Indian Food Cafe, and the Sunday Chron review was a biggie, visiting George Morrone at Sutro's for 2.5 stars.