The Other Critics

Bauer Revisits Tra Vigne; Miller Raves About Rich Table; Roth Tries Out the Door

Photo: Courtesy of Tra Vigne

Michael Bauer offers up another Napa update (after last week’s Angèle review), revisiting Tra Vigne in St. Helena, the restaurant that once made a name for Michael Chiarello. It’s been through a number of incarnations since then, and is more of a tourist spot now, as Bauer notes, but he still feels pretty good about the food. He notes a heavy hand with the salt from chef Nash Cognetti and his team, for instance on the maltagliati verde and on a wood-roasted trout. But all in all he says the dishes are well prepared, and he’s especially into the baked oysters, the Caprese salad, and the bavette steak. Nothing too exciting here, but he says the atmosphere, and the fig tree-lined patio, counts for a lot. The verdict: two and a half stars. [Chron]

Over at the Guardian, Virginia Miller offers up another rave review for Rich Table. She writes that “The menu is not easily categorized nor a copycat of anyone, but is packed with pleasures peeking out in unforseen places.” And she raves about dishes had on several different since they opened, including the sardine chips, various squid dishes, a duck lasagna, and the tomato-braised oxtail on toast. She also gives a special call-out to the cocktails, several of which she says are “clean, strong, and memorable.” [SFBG, Bauer’s Earlier Take]

And Anna Roth reviews Out the Door, on the occasion of the release of Charles Phan’s book, Vietnamese Home Cooking. She loves his clean beef pho and ban xeo (rice flour crepes), but she finds the lemongrass pork chop dry and the Dungeness crab cellophane noodles disappointing. [SF Weekly]

Bauer Revisits Tra Vigne; Miller Raves About Rich Table; Roth Tries Out the Door