The May issue of Travel + Leisure has one of those irresistible, magazine-selling stories: The 50 Best New U.S. Restaurants. I flipped right to the San Francisco section, of course, and there were their picks: Academy Café, Blue Bottle Café, Moss Room, Brenda's French Soul Food, Dynamo Donuts and Coffee, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, the Sentinel and Spruce.
Things that make you go hmmm: a list of eight places in this city, several of which are more than a year old, and only three of which serve dinner. Hmm.
Don't get me wrong. I love Blue Bottle and Dynamo. I recognize that these are very cool eating and drinking spots in our city, special because they are so unique. I recognize that the corned beef at the Sentinel is very, dangerously delicious. But can these spots—some of which don't have a menu or a place to sit—be considered restaurants? Can they be compared to New York's Corton or Scarpetta, also on the list? Do they deserve to be on a list as the best new restaurants in our whole city, sharing space with La Mar and Spruce? Somehow it seems like a stretch, even to me—the person who loves the holes-in-the-wall, the street food, the taco stands, the non-restaurants.
What would you have put on a list of the best new restaurants in SF? This is what we thought when we did our list, back in February.