Voltaggio may get an editorial nod from 'Food & Wine,' though.
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The two Cali chefs both have 23% of the vote.
Though the Bay Area dominates in the California region, L.A.'s Michael Voltaggio is most likely to win this popularity contest.
Also, Wise Sons looks about two weeks away in the Mission.
Bauer calls the last year "the most exciting" for restaurants "in more than a quarter century," meaning his entire tenure at the Chronicle. Thus a bunch of restaurants had to fall off the list.
She also dined at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena.
The acclaimed Etoile chef, only 27, actually started his training pretty early via his grandparents' restaurant: The French Laundry.
Some familiar notables of 2009 like Beard nominees Frances, RN74, and Flour + Water are predictable additions; new deletions include Fonda, Kokkari, and Ton Kiang.
Katie Lee and a mystery beau, not to mention Christy Turlington and Ed Burns, all drop in on Napa; Luke Wilson eats at Slanted Door.
The five rising stars for 2010 include Charlie Kleinman at Wexler's, Timothy Hollingsworth at The French Laundry, and Joshua Skenes at Saison.
• Michael Bauer had a "splendid meal" worth three and a half stars at Domaine Chandon's Etoile. New chef Perry Hoffman, 25, created "a beautifully conceived and executed meal, presided over by precise but friendly service that ranks among the...