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San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants as selected by Michael Bauer

San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants as selected by Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle:

"Compiling the list is an ongoing project. I dine out every night — sometimes I'll have two or three dinners in an evening — checking out new restaurants and returning to those I've previously reviewed."
"It's a continual process to reinvigorate the guide and come up with the widest range of first-rate choices. Every restaurant represented here has been visited at least three times, and in most cases, more."
"Each year, I revisit every restaurant on the previous year's list, and also all the new places that deserve to be considered. This year, 20 restaurants were added, including Nido in Oakland, Coqueta in San Francisco, Sir & Star in Olema, and Iyasare in Berkeley."
"Each year, when I finally finish the list, I reawaken to the fact that dining in the Bay Area is so rich. It's inarguably one of the best places to eat in the United States, and maybe the world."
Nido
This tiny Mexican restaurant, fenced in by Interstate 880, a gasoline station and semi-industrial buildings, doesn't seem like a likely place for farm-to-table cooking, but Silvia McCollow and her husband, Cory, have made it a worthy destination. The interior makes the most of its working-class setting, with scarred concrete and plaster walls, rippled metal doors from industrial storage containers and benches that look like they're made from scrap lumber. Silvia, born in Mexico, was a schoolteacher and when her husband was transferred to the Bay Area with the Coast Guard, she decided to follow her dream. Cocktails are also special.

Childhood Memories Inspire Chef/Owner of Nido in Oakland

Childhood Memories Inspire Chef/Owner of Nido in Oakland

Amanda Gold, San Francisco Chronicle:

Silvia McCollow once traveled six hours to eat dinner in Guadalajara - only to turn around and head back at the end of the meal.The middle child of five, the chef/owner of Nido restaurant in Oakland remembers piling into a big van and taking frequent family road trips to her parents' native Mexico.almond mole.  "All of our adventures revolved around food," she says of her childhood, recalling that her family would sometimes trek to the beach just to catch crabs for dinner.It's the memories of these journeys - and the dishes that defined her formative years closer to home in Southern California - that fueled McCollow's desire to open Nido with her husband, Cory, 1 1/2 years ago.

The 22 Hottest Mexican Restaurants in the Bay Area

The 22 Hottest Mexican Restaurants in the Bay Area

John Birdsall and Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Magazine:

"The young owners have made their location into a point of gritty Oakland pride..." 
"...a sincerity that results in amazing dishes, like a coconut flan that falls somewhere between a solid and pure silk".
"...a tribute from Oakland’s new generation of Mexican cooks."

Excellent Nido not typical Mexican food

Excellent Nido not typical Mexican food

Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle:

"Nido in Oakland is not your typical Bay Area Mexican restaurant. The dinner menu has no tacos, enchiladas or chile rellenos, yet the food has a soulful, comforting aura missing from many paint-by-numbers places."
"It's clear the McCollows have their priorities straight, and their restaurant goes straight into my hall of fame."
"All the cocktails are well crafted and every bit as good as the food."

Best Mexican Restaurants in the U.S.

Best Mexican Restaurants in the U.S.

Travel + Leisure Magazine:

Husband-and-wife team Silvia and Cory McCollow started out by delivering home-cooked meals to publicize their endeavor to go brick-and-mortar, and raised more than $17,000 on Kickstarter to help launch this farm-to-table Mexican restaurant. At Nido, many of the seasonal large and small plates are based on Silvia’s family recipes. Influences span Mexico’s central and Pacific coast, and everything is made in-house daily. At lunchtime, try the cemita, a sandwich typical of Mexico’s Puebla state, pulled chicken and Oaxacan red mole with avocado on a sesame seed roll. Dinner brings dishes like pollo sobado (roasted chipotle-rubbed chicken with sweet potato, cilantro oil, and cinnamon glaze), and chuleta de puerco, a grilled pork chop with spring onion and almond mole.

Always in Season- Farm to Table

Subaru's DRIVE Magazine:

“TO ME THIS IS ALL ABOUT RESPECTING THE FARMER, THE LOVE THEY HAVE FOR WHAT THEY DO. IT’S ABOUT HOW I POUR MY HEART INTO COOKING, AND HOW MY CUSTOMERS CARE SO DEEPLY ABOUT SUPPORTING THEIR COMMUNITY. I SEE US ALL AS ONE BIG CHAIN OF PASSION AND PRIDE COMING TOGETHER.” – SILVIA MCCOLLOW, CHEF AND CO-OWNER OF NIDO, IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA.

From the pages of The New York Times to Gourmet, the farm to table movement has been heralded as the new wave of dining. The term farm to table elicits images of abundant fresh food, grown and raised by friendly family farmers, and ultimately presented in rustic-but-elegant spaces. The reality is a bit more complicated and varied. An increasing number of restaurants – from food trucks to fine dining – are embracing farm to table principles. Of course, the concept – bringing the freshest possible food to the table – is as old as time, but it’s one that Americans for much of the 20th century moved away from as food from around the globe became easier and cheaper to ship and preserve.