Posts Tagged ‘french laundry’

All the Michelin-Starred Restaurants of the Greater Bay Area for 2012

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Here they are, all the Michelin-starred restaurants in the greater Bay Area for 2012.

Get all the deets, after the jump.

Three Stars

French Laundry
Restaurant at Meadowood

Two Stars

Baumé
Benu
Coi
Cyrus
Manresa
Saison

One Star

Acquerello
Alexander’s Steakhouse
Ame
Applewood
Atelier Crenn
Auberge du Soleil
Aziza
Bouchon
Boulevard
Campton Place
Chez TJ
Commis
Dio Deka
étoile
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Fleur de Lys
Frances
Gary Danko
La Costanera
La Folie
La Toque
Luce
Madera
Madrona Manor
Masa’s
Michael Mina
One Market
Plumed Horse
Quince
Redd
Santé
Solbar
Sons & Daughters
Spruce
Terra
Terrapin Creek
Ubuntu
Village Pub
Wakuriya

(more…)

The New ZAGAT Survey is Here, the New ZAGAT Survey is Here! – Gary Danko Sweeps – Google Era Begins

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This was the scene last night at Park Tavern in North Beach for the launch of the 2012 ZAGAT Survey.  Read all about it at ZAGATBUZZ San Francisco.

As you can see Gary Danko was the big winner, shown here with Nina and Tim Zagat:

Click to expand

Inside Scoop’s Paolo Lucchesi has already leafed through our new “burgundy bible,” so check that out.

And it’s now the “Google Era” for Zagat, owing to a recent nine-figure purchase by Big G. How will things change?

All of these are users wondering where they should go, where they should spend their time, so to be able to offer accurate information is important, and that’s why we’ve been getting focused on reviews,” Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for local, maps and location services, said in an interview. Ms. Mayer said that Zagat’s reviews would supplement Google’s Places reviews, but that the publisher’s Web home would remain a paid site for now.”

All the deets:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20, 2011  — This morning, Zagat released the results of its 2012 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Survey covering 1,448 restaurants in the greater Bay Area. The all-new Survey is based on the shared opinions of 10,672 avid local diners who voted online at ZAGAT.com and on Zagat for iPhone. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the guide also covers restaurants in the Wine Country, Silicon Valley and Monterey Peninsula. The guide is available on ZAGAT.com, via Zagat’s mobile apps and in bookstores.

Holding and Gaining Ground: According to the Survey, the local restaurant industry is holding steady this year with diners continuing to eat out an average of 2.8 times per week and with the average meal cost increasing by only 10 cents, from $38.78 to $38.88. Most importantly, 31% of respondents report that the dining scene is better than last year; a mere 4% say it’s worse. From an industry standpoint, another indication of economic importance is that 28% of diners say they are spending more per meal, while only 15% say less. It is also notable that complaints about service have consistently declined, from 68% pre-recession to 56% this year.

Winners: Hailed as “brilliant” and “perfect for any occasion,” Gary Danko takes home top honors this year for Service, Popularity and Food, with a near-perfect 29 out of 30 rating. Gary Danko has topped the Food list nine times in ten years. Big Sur’s Sierra Mar wins top Decor boasting “stellar views” and “walls of windows,” while the “brilliant rebirth” of Michael Mina debuts this year as Top Newcomer featuring a brand-new concept, location and more affordable New American menu. The full list of winners includes:

Tim Zagat, Co-Chair of Zagat Survey said, “After 25 years in San Francisco, we’re glad to report that the local dining scene continues to improve, thanks to a host of first-class restaurants and affordable newcomers.”

Techies Unite: When asked about the best development to ever hit the Bay Area dining scene, surveyors picked “online reservations,” a feature that 63% admit they utilize when making reservations. San Francisco surveyors continue to be among the most tech-savvy with 39% using restaurant-related mobile applications and 28% following restaurants/food trucks via social media. However, nearly two-thirds think it is “rude and inappropriate” to text, talk, tweet, or e-mail when dining out, though a full 87% say it’s ok to photograph their food or dining companions.

New and Trendy: While fine dining is not dead, this year’s crop of newcomers offers some less expensive options. The zero-zero flour trend is heating up brick ovens with upstart pizzerias such as Cupola Pizzeria, Ragazza and Una Pizza Napoletana in the city, and Addie’s Pizza Pie and Bar Bocce to the east and north. Izakayas like Chotto in the Marina and Ki in Temple Nightclub are offering affordably priced Japanese cuisine matched with sake and cocktails, while Cyrus chef Douglas Keane has opened Shimo Modern Steak in Healdsburg, a downscaled Japanese modern steakhouse with a customizable noodle bar.

On a Roll: Following this year’s expanded survey of Bay Area food trucks, ratings and reviews for 37 trucks are available on ZAGAT.com. This year’s Top Food Truck, Spencer on the Go!, from the Chez Spencer team, offers “imaginative French” fare from Wednesday to Saturday in SoMa. Other trucks offer a variety of cuisines including Mexican (El Tonayense), Middle Eastern (Liba Falafel), Italian/Pan-Latin (Mama’s Empanadas) and Chinese (Chairman Bao Bun).

Big Names, Not Price Tags: Many of San Francisco’s big-ticket chefs are scaling back and opening moderately priced offshoots. In the Mission (named SF’s best restaurant neighborhood), the team from Delfina has opened the moderately priced osteria Locanda, while James Syhabout (Commis) debuted his Asian street food newcomer, Hawker Fare, in Oakland. Up in Napa, Todd Humphries opened the eclectic Kitchen Door.

Green and Local: Eighty percent of surveyors say that locally sourced, organic or sustainably raised food is important and 68% say they would actually pay more for it.

Quarter-Century Club: The new Survey takes a look at major changes in dining trends in San Francisco over the past quarter-century:

Survey Details: The 2012 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Survey ($15.95) was edited by Cynthia Kilian and local editor Meesha Halm. The Survey is available now in bookstores, online at ZAGAT.com and via ZAGAT for mobile. Follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @Zagat for news & updates.

About Zagat Survey, LLC – Known as the “burgundy bible,” Zagat Survey is the world’s most trusted source for consumer-generated survey information. With a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the “most up-to-date,” “comprehensive” and “reliable” guide, published on all platforms. Zagat content is available to consumers wherever and whenever they need it on ZAGAT.com, Zagat for Mobile and in book form.”

San Francisco Restaurant Community Comes Together to Help Crime Victim – Benefit at Ragazza January 24th

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Haighteration has the story this AM about how the San Francisco restaurant community is coming together to help one of its own, someone who is still reeling from a crime committed late last year:

“In late November, a beloved member of the Ragazza staff, and broader San Francisco restaurant community, was the victim of a terrible crime. To help this individual get back on their feet, Ragazza, along with several other establishments, are hosting a fundraiser. All proceeds will benefit the crime victim. Funds will be raised through several sources.”

And check out all the local businesspeople who are contributing, below.

“1. On Monday, January 24, Ragazza will donate 100% of sales proceeds to this cause. For this evening, Ragazza will hold an intimate benefit dinner, with a special menu designed by Chef Sharon Ardiana.  The meal will be served family style, with antipasti, salad, pizza, entree and dessert.  Seatings are at 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm or 9:00 pm.  The cost is $35/person, including wine, excluding gratuity and tax.  As of 1/13/11, the 7pm seating is sold out.  To make a reservation or to be put on the 7pm waiting list, please email Laurie at laurie@aocsf.com.

2. A variety of items will be auctioned off on eBay, between Friday, January 21st and Monday, January 31st. Auction items include special meals at notable San Francisco restaurants, cooking lessons, private meals prepared by Bay Area chefs, art, photography, wine and other items. To see all items up for auction or to bid on an item, please visit this link.

3. You may send a cash donation to benefit the victims of this crime. To do so, please send a check made out to our fiscal sponsor, La Cocina, Inc. Please write Ragazza Fundraiser in the memo line so that your contribution goes directly to our cause. Donations may also be made on the evening of January 24 at the restaurant. For your donation to be tax deductible, it will need to be made via check payable to La Cocina, Inc. Donations may be sent to:

La Cocina

2948 Folsom Street

San Francisco, CA 94110-4028

Note that all auction items and donations made via check to La Cocina, Inc. are tax deductible over the fair market value of the item (in the case of auction items). La Cocina is a registered 501c3 organization.

Full details coming soon, along with links to the eBay bid pages once the auction is live (anticipated to be on Friday, January 21).  Here’s a preview of some of the items we will have available for bid…..

Dinner for 8 in your home, cooked by Frances Chef/Owner Melissa Perello.
Italian cooking lesson, wine tasting and dinner for 4 prepared in your home by Chef/Owner of Ragazza, Sharon Ardiana and  Suzanne Drexhage
Dinner for 2, with wine pairings, at your choice of either A16 or SPQR
Wine dinner for 4 at Andalu
Dinner for 2 at Bar Tartine
Chef’s Dinner for 2 at Cafe des Amis, with wine pairings
Customized meal for 2 at Delfina, menu designed by Chef/Owner Craig Stoll
Customized meal for 2 at Flour + Water, menu by Chef/Owner Tom McNaughton, with wine pairing
Wine dinner for 4 at Garibaldi’s
Dinner for 2 at Gialina..and you can go to the head of the line!
Dinner for 4 at Nopa, seated with Chef/Co-Owner Laurence Jossel and Wine Director Chris Deegan
Dinner for 4 at the Chef’s Table of Rotisserie & Wine – meet Tyler Florence and Chef Jeremy Fox
Customized cake by Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake, sized to serve 40 people!
2 dozen cupcakes from Kara’s Cupcakes, delivered by cupcake maven and owner, Kara Lind
Marlowe‘s famous Marlowe burger, delivered to your office w/all the fixin’s…for 8 people
Carnitas dinner for 4, delivered to your door by Nopalito.
Sundae making party for 24 by Bi Rite Creamery
Cocktail making class for 15, along with signed copies of Art of the Bar at Comstock Saloon
Coffee tour/tasting for 6 at Equator Coffees & Teas-  the coffee of Ragazza & The French Laundry
Cooking clases at La Cocina
Poker party for 5 at Le Club….burgers, bourbon or champs, your own dealer & private table
Pizza Politana pizza party for 15 at your home
High end tequila tasting for 4 at Tres Agaves
Margarita party for 20 at your home by Tortilla Heights
A case of mixed Italian red wines, selected by Chamber and Chambers Wine Merchants
Gift certificates to Boulevard18 ReasonsBi Rite MarketOminvore BooksAbsintheLori Anderson Skincare, Pal’s Takeaway SandwichesIncanto and more!
A day of custom photography, with Katie Newburn, photographer
2 custom art pieces by artist Michelle White
50 custom cards/envelopes, designed and printed by Olive-Route letter press.
Custom canvas printing of your favorite photo by photographer, Nick Vasilopoulos
2 hours of custom tattoo work with the amazing Shannon Archuleta
And still more to come……

The New Michelin Guide is Here! The New Bay Area Michelin Guide is Here for 2011! (And Chez Panisse is Off The List :())

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Here they are, the best restaurants in the Bay Area for 2011, below.

Carolyn Alburger is all over this situation already at Eater SF as is Paolo Lucchesi at The Inside Scoop, as is Jay Barmann at GrubStreet SF.

2011 MICHELIN GUIDE SAN FRANCISCO STARRED RESTAURANTS (“N” DENOTES A NEW STARRED RESTAURANT)
Three Michelin stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. One always eats here extremely well, sometimes superbly.  Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
Two Michelin stars mean excellent cuisine, worth a detour. Skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
One Michelin star means a very good restaurant in its category. A place offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
Ame
Applewood (Guerneville) (N)
Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford)
Aziza
Baumé (Palo Alto) (N)
Bouchon (Yountville)
Boulevard
Campton Place (N)
Chez TJ
Commis
The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton
Dio Deka (Los Gatos) (N)
étoile (Yountville)
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant (Forestville)
Fleur de Lys
Frances (N)
Gary Danko
La Folie
La Toque (Napa)
Luce
Madera (Menlo Park) (N)
Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)
Masa’s
Mirepoix (Windsor) (N)
Murray Circle (Sausalito)
One Market
Plumed Horse (San Jose)
Quince
Redd (Yountville)
Saison (N)
Santé (Sonoma)
Solbar (Calistoga)
Spruce (N)
Terra (St. Helena)
Ubuntu (Napa)
The Village Pub (Woodside)
Wakuriya (San Mateo)
(N)
All the deets, after the jump
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The New Zagat Book is Here! The New 2011 San Francisco Zagat Book is Here!

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

OMG it’s here! The new 2011 Zagat for San Francisco Dining is here.

And unlike telephone books, our “Burgundy Bible” is something Bay Areans actually still want to have these days.

This year, just like last year, it’s all Gary Danko. Pretty much.

But there’s a lot of other stuff in today’s release. Stuff like this:

“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”

Check it out, below

Zagat 2011 Bay Area Survey Reveals Diners Cutting Back, Yet Getting Values, In Tough Times

Ninety-Four Noteworthy Newcomers Show Restaurateurs are Betting on the Future; Food Trucks Roll into the Rankings; San Francisco Diners Support Healthful Eating; Gary Danko Sweeps for Food, Service and Popularity; El Tonayense Named “Best Buy”

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 — Zagat Survey released its 2011 San Francisco Restaurant Survey today, with results available in print, on ZAGAT.com and via ZAGAT TO GO for iPhone, iPad and Android. This year’s Survey covers 1,373 restaurants in the greater San Francisco Bay Area from the Wine Country up North to Carmel down South. Nearly two-thirds of the restaurants in the guide feature dinner costs under $40 and lunches below $30. Based on the feedback of over 10,000 avid local consumers, the typical Zagat-Rated restaurant was visited by surveyors over twice a day.

Cloudy Weather: The nation’s economic woes continue to affect local restaurateurs, as the average meal cost in San Francisco saw an unprecedented decline – a 1.6% decrease, from $39.40 in 2009, to $38.78 this year. Furthermore, the average cost of dining at the 20 most expensive restaurants has dropped 4.4% since the recession started. When asked how the economy is affecting their dining habits, 43% of surveyors report eating out less, 39% are more attentive to prices, 36% are picking less expensive places and 16 to 21% have cut back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts. Also, 10% say they’re less likely to try new places. Importantly, despite San Francisco’s reputation as a culinary center, locals report dining out 2.8 times per week on average, down from 3.2 pre-recession and below Zagat’s current 3.2 national average.

Silver Lining: Nonetheless, since the economic downturn, 50% of surveyors report finding better deals, 40% feel their patronage is more appreciated and 36% say it’s easier to land a table. While 59% of surveyors cite poor service as their top irritant when dining out, the decrease from 66% pre-recession suggests an improvement in the front-of-house. And it seems diners are starting to put their money where their mouths are, as the average tip increased from 18.4% pre-recession to 18.6% now. That there are 94 new arrivals in the Survey shows that restaurateurs are betting on the future.

“The down economy has made dining out more affordable, and diners have plenty of options to choose from,” said Tim Zagat, CEO and Co-Founder of Zagat Survey. “However, the good news for consumers may be bad news for restaurateurs as dining spending has declined. Fortunately, 51% of surveyors are confident that fine-dining out will bounce back with the economy.”

Keep on Truckin’: For the first time in the San Francisco guide, surveyors put food trucks and pop-up eateries on the map with full ratings and reviews – a welcome resource for the 23% of locals who report following food trucks (and other restaurants) via Twitter and Facebook. It’s also notable that this year’s Best Bang for the Buck is El Tonayense, a traveling taco-truck fleet (with a brick-and-mortar offshoot). It even bested In-N-Out Burger, as well as last year’s best buy, Saigon Sandwiches (now No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). More mobile eateries can be found on ZAGAT.com, including RoliRoti, Spencer on the Go! and hot dog purveyor Let’s Be Frank, and farmer’s market stands like 4505 Meats, Cal-Korean Namu and Tacolicious.

It goes on and on, see you after the jump

(more…)

A Foie Gras Protest Coming to Napa Valley – Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Targeted

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

You know what Napa needs? A nice foie gras protest at The French Laundry, the finest restaurant in the West.

“The Animal Protection & Rescue League and several animal protection groups will be protesting outside Thomas Keller restaurants in three cities across the country on Saturday due to the company’s sale of “foie gras” – liver from cruelly force fed ducks. The groups will be displaying graphic banners showing scenes from inside Thomas Keller’s supplier, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and other producers of this barbaric product. The coalition of groups, which includes the Animal Protection & Rescue League, Orange County People for Animals, In Defense of Animals, and Compassion Over Killing, have launched a campaign website at www.foie-gras-industry.com.”

So keep that in mind if you have reservations for May 8th  at any of Thomas Keller’s joints nationwide.

Ah yes. Peppery melba toast, fruits, sea salt, and le hockey puck du plaisir in the middle – that’s how Tom Keller rolls in suburban Napa:

via peterme

All the deets:

Thomas Keller Targeted for Animal Cruelty. Protests in NYC, Beverly Hills and Napa

NEW YORK, May 6 — The Animal Protection & Rescue League and several animal protection groups will be protesting outside Thomas Keller restaurants in three cities across the country on Saturday due to the company’s sale of “foie gras” – liver from cruelly force fed ducks.

The groups will be displaying graphic banners showing scenes from inside Thomas Keller’s supplier, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and other producers of this barbaric product. The coalition of groups, which includes the Animal Protection & Rescue League, Orange County People for Animals, In Defense of Animals, and Compassion Over Killing, have launched a campaign website at www.foie-gras-industry.com.

 Protest locations and times on Saturday May 8:

 Per Se, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019 – Time: noon
 Bouchon, 235 N. Canon Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210 – Time: 7:30pm
 French Laundry, 6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599 – Time 7pm

 “As a veterinarian, I find foie gras to be a disease rather than a delicacy,” states Elliot Katz, DVM, President of IDA. “The liver’s function is to process toxins, and a liver in this grossly enlarged state from force feeding cannot function properly.”

To make the livers fat enough for foie gras, workers restrain the ducks, force long metal pipes down their throats, and pump up to two pounds of food into them per day.  After three weeks, their livers swell up to 12 times their normal size.

“The conditions I have witnessed in Hudson Valley Foie Gras are appalling,” states Bryan Pease, Esq., Board Chair of APRL.  “In visiting there and other farms to document conditions, I saw ducks panting incessantly and showing great difficulty walking and breathing in the later stages of force feeding, and I saw trash barrels full of dead ducks killed by the process.”

Animal cruelty investigations by APRL and a lawsuit filed by APRL and IDA led to enactment of Cal. Health & Safety Code section 25980, banning the sale or production of foie gras in California effective 2012. The cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, West Hollywood, Solana Beach and San Diego have recently passed resolutions in support of the ban.

Early last year, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau found that D’Artagnan, a major U.S. foie gras distributor, was engaging in false advertising by claiming the livers are not diseased and implying the animals are treated humanely.

More information is available at www.foie-gras-industry.com.

The New Zagat Book is Here! The New 2010 San Francisco Zagat Book is Here!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Oh it’s here, the new 2010 Zagat for San Francisco Dining is here. Unlike telephone books, the “Burgundy Bible” is something Bay Areans actually still want to have these days.

This year, it’s all Gary Danko. Pretty much.

But there’s a lot of other stuff in today’s release. Check it out, below:

zagat_logo copy

SF Bay Area Diners Adjust Habits in Response to Slow Economy

SAN FRANCISCANS ARE EATING OUT LESS, BUT BEING TREATED BETTER GARY DANKO IS BIG WINNER; BOTTEGA NAMED TOP NEWCOMER

The Zagat 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants guide was released today.  Echoing the trend around the country, the 9,700 San Francisco surveyors say they are cutting back on their restaurant spending.  Fortunately, they also report getting plenty of good deals, prix fixe menus, attentive service, and access to formerly hard-to-get reservations.  All told, the new guide covers 1,308 restaurants from the Wine Country in the North down to the Monterey Peninsula.

“The economic downturn has definitely affected San Francisco diners. Quite simply, they are being more careful with their money,” said Tim Zagat, CEO and Co-Founder of Zagat Survey. “The good news is that local restaurants have been going to great lengths to hang on to their clientele.”

Industry Woes: When asked what effect the slow economy has had on their dining habits, surveyors report dining out less (52%), eating in less expensive places (42%), being more attentive to prices (42%), cutting back on alcohol (20%), appetizers and/or desserts (21%). Diners (5%) are even switching to tap/filtered water to save money. They are so price-sensitive that the percentage who list price as their main complaint has jumped to 10%, up from 6% last year. That’s not surprising since San Francisco ranks among the nation’s most expensive dining cities, with an average meal cost of $39.40, compared to the $34.54 national average.

The Good News:Many restaurants are offering bargain deals and 62% of diners say they are taking advantage of these opportunities; 40% say they feel their patronage is appreciated more; and 36% find it easier to obtain hard-to-get reservations. Despite their financial concerns, San Franciscans by a 73% vote consider green issues (organic, sustainably raised, locally grown products) to be as important as ever; ditto healthy menus, by a 70% margin, which explains the success of newcomers such as eco-Mexicans Nopalito and Little Chichuahua. Finally, 61% say they’re still willing to pay even higher tabs to support worker healthcare and wages.

Cheap Eats:Fortunately, options abound for budget-conscious Bay Area diners. This year’s Top Bang for the Buck is Saigon Sandwiches, serving “fabulous Vietnamese pork sandwiches.” Following behind are In-N-Out, El Metate, and Arinell Pizza. In the Mission (named San Francisco’s best dining neighborhood), Baby Blues BBQ has brought Southern BBQ to the Bay, while inexpensive pizzerias, flour + water and Tony’s Pizza Napolentana have also premiered this year. In the Downtown Area, Showdogs brings the “best of the wurst” from all-natural hot-dog vendor Let’s Be Frank, along with house made condiments and plenty of sides.  Best of all, many restaurants are sticking to prix fixe lunches for $25, and dinners for $30 year-round (not just during Dine around Town), while other restaurants like the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room and Masa’s are offering bargain a la carte and prix fixe options.

Winners:  Showing that top-of-the-line dining is still going strong, Gary Danko not only reclaimed the title for Top Food, but won for Most Popular and Top Service this year. Taking home honors for Top Decor is the “re-opened cliff hanging” Sierra Mar. The survey also includes 70 noteworthy newcomers. Bottega, located in Yountville and led by chef Michael Chiarello is this year’s Top Newcomer. The Top 5 ranking in each category are as follows:

Food:              

 1. Gary Danko 
 2. Cyrus      
 3. French Laundry    
 4. Kiss Seafood  
 5. Acquerello

Decor:

1. Sierra Mar
2. Garden Court
3. Ahawahnee               
4. Auberge du Soleil
5. Pacific’s Edge

Service:

1. Gary Danko
2. Cyrus
3. Ritz-Carlton
4. French Laundry
5. Masa’s

Popular:

1. Gary Danko
2. Boulevard
3. French Laundry
4. Slanted Door
5. Chez Panisse

Newcomer:

1. Bottega
2. Zinnia
3. La Mar Cebicheria
4. Marzano
5. Nopalito

Tweeting and Trucking:It’s no surprise that San Franciscans rank among the most tech-savvy in the nation. Thanks to Open Table, this year 52% of surveyors say they typically make reservations online (up from 49% last year and 43% two years ago) and 85% report visiting a restaurants’ website before eating there. Avid diners have even taken to the streets – and the Twitter-verse – following the ever-growing slew of gourmet food trucks. These mobile street vendors, now including ChowderMobile (from Sam’s Chowder House), Spencer on the Go! (from Chez Spencer), and chef Chris Cosentino’s Salumi Cycle, are being faithfully followed via their websites, email and Twitter.

A Tree Grows in Oakland:Oakland has seen a swell of good-value eateries opening this year, including tapas-bar Barlata, wine bar and salumeria Adesso, Commis and Sidebar. On the horizon is the Jack London Square waterfront with a new gourmet marketplace, opening in early 2010, which will be flanked by 15 new restaurants including the already opened Bocanova (Rick Hackett of MarketBar) and the forthcoming Bracina (Daniel Patterson and ex-Delfina’s Lauren Kino) and Pizzeria Zanna (Richard Corbo).

The Guide in Detail:In addition to ratings and reviews, the new guide includes listings and maps of the Most Popular restaurants, as well a transit map and 44 useful indexes including Historic Places, Power Scenes, Winning Wines Lists and Teen Appeal. The 2010 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants guide ($14.95) was edited by Meesha Halm and Karen Hudes and is available at all major bookstores, through ZAGAT.com, on Zagat’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android, or by calling 888-371-5440. For more information, please visit our press center (www.zagat.com/presscenter).

Known as the “burgundy bible,” Zagat Survey is the world’s most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and as such has become a symbol of quality. Zagat Survey rates and reviews airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, resorts, shopping, spas and a range of other entertainment categories in more than 100 countries. It has been lauded as producing the “most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable guides ever published” and as “a necessity second only to a valid credit card.” Zagat content is available in print, on the web, on the mobile web, iPhone, BlackBerry and on TV. For more information, visit ZAGAT.com.

A Meal at the The French Laundry was just $29 back in 1987, per Zagat

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

These days, a meal at The French Laundry restaurant up in the Napa County town of Yountville can set you back $240 or so, before adding such extras as a nice tip for the waitstaff [see UPDATE below], or a $100 “steak supplement,” or wine, or whatever. And that assumes you can even get into the fifth best restaurant in the world, as reservations can be hard to come by.

But check out this entry from a pristine 1987 copy of the Zagat San Francisco Restaraunt Survey (the Yelp of its day). Click to expand:

go8f8959-copy.jpg

That’s right, Tim and Nina had an “estimated price of dinner” pegged at $29. (Compare that with Nob Hill’s Fournou’s Ovens, listed at $31 in the same 1987 guide.)

So you see, you had your chance back in the 1980′s, back before Pixar’s Ratatouille, and back before Thomas Keller ate an ortolan bunting songbird at a secret chef’s dinner in Bourdeax, France.

Oh well, c‘est la vie. Is there a relatively inexpensive place you can go to now in the bay area that will be internationally famous in the year 2029? Think about it.

Happy hunting.

[UPDATE: Commenter Chester has two valid points that explain some of the price inflation. Well played, Chester.]