Was 2010 the Best Year Ever for the San Francisco Food Scene?

Will big guys like Prospect and Mina upstage the notable upstarts on Bauer's annual top 10?
Will big guys like Prospect and Mina upstage the notable upstarts on Bauer’s annual top 10? Photo: Grub Street

According to Mr. Bauer it was. In a blog post yesterday, Bauer says this was “the best year for new restaurant openings in the 24+ years I’ve been been working at The Chronicle.” And that’s kind of saying a lot! Now, we’ve chalked up the rash of high-profile openings, especially over the summer, to the pent up energy left over from the super-quiet year 2009, with a number of big projects that had been in the works for several years prior (Prospect, Café Des Amis, Napa’s Riverfront complex) finally seeing the light of day. But now Bauer finds himself with far too many good places to choose from for his Top 10 New Restaurants of the year list. He says he “counted at least 25 that in previous years would easily make [the cut],” and his decision is made all the harder because he’ll have to include Frances, Nombe, and Baker & Banker, all of which opened last December and which he reviewed in 2010.

He calls Plum (which gets its review this Sunday) and Michael Mina “likely contenders,” but unless he decides to expand the list beyond the traditional ten, this means he’ll be leaving off some of the smaller nominees, like Heirloom Café, Ippuku, and Marlowe, which would likely be overshadowed by Prospect and Mina. Also (gasp!), what does this mean for the Top 100, due in April, when he has 25+ newcomers potentially knocking off old favorites?

It’s a tough job, friend!

2010 may be the best year ever for San Francisco dining [Between Meals/Scoop]