As Bon Appétit prepares to release their annual list of the ten best new restaurants in the country, which they call the "Hot 10," they've released a list of 50 finalists for the list as they have in the past few years and let's be honest, it gets a little arbitrary whittling down a list covering every new restaurant opening in all 50 states. Being the rad food destination that we are, San Francisco usually has at least one name on every year's top 10, and in 2015 critic Andrew Knowlton declared SF the best food city in the country and named two SF spots to the list that year, AL's Place and Rintaro, no doubt boosting their business ever since. This year, could their be two Bay Area names in the final tally? Very possibly, yes.
On the top 50 this year we have three local restaurants, one of which opened well over a year ago: Mister Jiu's, Tartine Manufactory, and Healdsburg's SingleThread
SingleThread has the distinction of being the first ever to get four stars from the Chronicle's Michael Bauer immediately upon opening, and that includes the likes of the French Laundry, Saison, Benu, and Manresa. He called the experience "flawless," and one can guess that when the Michelin Guide gets updated this year, the Michelin folks will reward it kindly (maybe with two stars?). Bon App raves that it's a "one-of-a-kind tasting menu" experience, but they also say, acknowledging that it will likely get Michelin attention, "Well, let’s be honest, who would spend a cool grand per couple to go here?"
But because it's not in SF proper, I'm going to wager that Knowlton and his colleague Julia Kramer might be able to get away with naming another San Francisco restaurant to this year's Hot 10 but who'll get the honor?
It's interesting to note that Knowlton bypassed Mister Jiu's, which opened in April of last year, for last year's list, likely on account of his travel schedule and the burdens of a magazine's publication schedule. So he went out of the way to include it this year, which could say something Brandon Jew's fine work at this polished Chinatown spot also earned him a Michelin star in his first year, which probably also caught Bon App's attention. They rave, "step into the next era of Chinese cooking in America."
And then there's Tartine Manufactory, which already got an accolade from Food & Wine and seemed like a shoe-in for this list from the get-go and given the pedigree of the team, and the generally outstanding reception the place has gotten, it would seem almost weird if it got left off this list. But Knowlton and Kramer always have their hands full trying to show some geographical diversity on this list, and thus come the arbitrary cuts. They call the place "dreamy," but indicating that they might think the restaurant doesn't need any more raves, they write, "Whom are we kidding? You don’t need to be told to go here. If you love bread, sweets, or crispy, salty, herb-stuffed meats and you live anywhere in the vicinity of the Bay Area, chances are you’ve already been."
Peruse the full list here, for now, which includes other much buzzed over spots like New York City's Le Coucou and Olmstead, and LA's P.Y.T.
We'll find out who makes the cut on August 15.