Best Bay Area fine dining

The French Laundry

Market-fresh menus are so last week. In addition to his personal relationships with top purveyors around the country, Keller’s 3-acre backyard supply the restaurant with seasonal garden-fresh produce every day. In the hands of his talented chefs, these ingredients come together in a beautiful harmony of flavors, textures and temperatures. Fourteen courses that are individually perfect and work perfectly together. Simply put, you won’t eat better anywhere else.

The runner-up

Avant garde molecular gastronomy is often gratuitous and, when it comes to flavors, sometimes disappointing. Not at COI. Daniel Patterson’s cuisine surprises the mind and soul with an elaborate sequence of dishes that I called “an amusement park for taste buds”. Several months later, I still remember clearly most dishes I had, their flavor notes and how they made me feel. That on itself is a pretty priceless thing.

Honorable mention

Michael Mina
Mina’s signature trios–dishes in which one main ingredient is prepared 3 different ways–add an extra layer of engagement to the dining experience. A 3-course tasting menu becomes 9 different things you’ll try. The preparations are thoughtful and fun, despite the excessive formality of the wait staff.

Well worth a trip

Per Se, NY
Dining at Per Se is perhaps the easiest way to go to The French Laundry. But despite some welcoming similarities–like a few signature dishes and strive to perfection; Keller’s east coast restaurant deserves credit of its own. Starting with the enviable view of Central Park.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

What about Quince?