Esquire food critic John Mariani has unveiled his picks for 2013's best new restaurants in the nation, and on his list is Napa-based TV chef Michael Chiarello's first effort here in the city, Coqueta, which just opened in the spring. Coqueta marked Chiarello's first foray into a cuisine that wasn't Italian, as well, and Mariani admires Chiarello's deft style with Spanish food. "For it, and for decades of innovative, irresistible food, Chiarello is Esquire’s Chef of the Year," he writes.
Chiarello first made a name for himself at St. Helena's Tra Vigne, which he later sold, and now his flagship up there is Bottega in Yountville. He went on to star in his own Napa-based food shows on the Food Network, and to appear on the first season of Top Chef Masters, making it to the final three with Hubert Keller and Rick Bayless.
See the rest of Mariani's list here.
San Francisco has been raking in the national accolades when it comes to our new restaurants, with two S.F. spots State Bird Provisions and Saison having walked away with Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurant award the last two years, State Bird also winning the the James Beard Award for new restaurant, and multiple others (Central Kitchen, AQ, Mission Chinese Food, and Rich Table among them) having garnered other major attention in the national food press. Both State Bird and AQ were on Esquire's list last year.