The Other Critics

Bauer Calls L’Appart ‘a French Oasis’; Also, He Loves the Cioppino at Sotto Mare

Despite not sounding blown away by the dishes, Michael Bauer gives L’Appart in San Anselmo a very encouraging two and a half stars. He’s charmed by the crowd and the atmosphere, and by a pushy waiter who twice brought over different wines than he’d ordered because they were better. He seems pleased with the entrées, in particular the roast chicken with yellow curry sauce, fried chickpeas, peas, and carrots. He complains of not enough croutons with the bone marrow or the charcuterie, and of an annoying reservation policy. Overall he writes, “It’s a bit taxing at times, very French, and all in all a real pleasure.” [Chron]

Bauer also files a mini “Under the Radar” review on his blog of Sotto Mare (552 Green Street) in North Beach. He’d heard from readers that the food set this place apart from all the other nearby tourist traps, calling their cioppino in particular one of the most satisfying he’s found in his 25 years in the Bay Area. “The tomato broth tasted of fresh garlic, basil, a bit of chile heat and an undercurrent of olive oil. The squid, crab, scallops, mussels, shrimp and clams were all perfectly cooked.” [Between Meals/Scoop]

And in Sunday’s Datebook he writes a roundup of comfort food venues with plats du jour, like Piperade, Beretta, and Dish in Mill Valley.

Bauer Calls L’Appart ‘a French Oasis’; Also, He Loves the