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  1. Awards
    Napa’s Perry Hoffman Beats Michael Voltaggio for People’s Best NewVoltaggio may get an editorial nod from ‘Food & Wine,’ though.
  2. Superlatives
    Hoffman and Voltaggio Neck-and-Neck for ‘People’s Best New Chef’The two Cali chefs both have 23% of the vote.
  3. Lists
    Vote Now for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New ChefThough the Bay Area dominates in the California region, L.A.’s Michael Voltaggio is most likely to win this popularity contest.
  4. Neighborhood Watch
    La Terrasse Closes in the Presidio; Étoile Reopens in Yountville; and MoreAlso, Wise Sons looks about two weeks away in the Mission.
  5. Lists
    Spruce, Bix, Dining Room at the Ritz All Dropped from the Chron Top 100Bauer 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.
  6. Celebrity Settings
    Natalie Portman Has a Post-Oscars Vegetarian Feast at ÉtoileShe also dined at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena.
  7. Before They Were Chefs
    Étoile Chef Perry Hoffman Started Training Really EarlyThe acclaimed Etoile chef, only 27, actually started his training pretty early via his grandparents’ restaurant: The French Laundry.
  8. Lists
    Aqua, Gitane, and Ubuntu Drop Off Chron’s Top 100; Adesso, Frances, andSome familiar notables of 2009 like Beard nominees Frances, RN74, and Flour + Water are predictable additions; new deletions include Fonda, Kokkari, and Ton Kiang.
  9. Celebrity Settings
    Katie Lee Joel and a BF Dine at Étoile, Peter Krause at Quince, Luke Wilson atKatie Lee and a mystery beau, not to mention Christy Turlington and Ed Burns, all drop in on Napa; Luke Wilson eats at Slanted Door.
  10. Awards
    Chron Announces All-Male Rising Star Chef LineupThe five rising stars for 2010 include Charlie Kleinman at Wexler’s, Timothy Hollingsworth at The French Laundry, and Joshua Skenes at Saison.
  11. The Other Critics
    Etoile Soars; Ironside is Solid