The Other Critics

Bauer Is Unimpressed With Jackson Fillmore; Patty U. Gobbles Up Ragazza

Jackson Fillmore
Jackson Fillmore Photo: Facebook

Mr. Bauer revisits the ever-popular Jackson Fillmore (2506 Fillmore Street) this week after not updating his thoughts on the place for a decade. The intervening years haven’t been too kind to the 25-year-old restaurant, he writes, and even though the raw zucchini salad with Parmesan cheese and walnuts is “as good as ever,” and the half chicken a la Siciliana was OK, pretty much nothing else was. He criticizes rickety chairs, lazy waiters, stained menus, and “flames that seemed ready to leap out of control” in the open kitchen. “When I see something like that, it’s obvious the cooks aren’t in charge of the stove.” They still make a decent warm zabaglione, but Bauer slams the place with one and a half stars, and sounds like the one star for service was given only because he has a generous heart. [Chron]

And East Bay correspondent Allen Matthews gives a similiarly lackluster review to Café Oliveto, the downstairs portion of Oliveto, saying, “Some dishes are superb, while others fall flat,” the service generally sucked. He likes the pizza, though! And he finishes off with a little zinger: “As Michael Bauer noted in his Update review of the restaurant last month, new chef Jonah Rhodehamel and chef de cuisine Malachi Harland are cooking as if they have something to prove. Unfortunately, that proof isn’t making it down the stairs as consistently as it should.” [Chron]

It seems that Patricia Unterman got the same memo as Bauer not to come reviewing Ragazza for a while, since she waited just as long as he did to make it there. But darnit, she sure does adore the place. “I couldn’t believe how good everything tasted — antipasti, salads, chicken and, yes, the pizza. Three visits later, I’m still in love.” She name-checks the amatriciana pizza, the little gem lettuces and roasted asparagus, the “fluffy” chicken liver mousse, and the “succulent” roasted chicken leg. She also recommends a glass of the Cruvina “Cruvin,” “a cherry-scented red from Liguria,” despite the $15 price tag. [Examiner]

Bauer Is Unimpressed With Jackson Fillmore; Patty U. Gobbles Up Ragazza