Best New Restaurant - 2010
Flour + Water
Other new restaurants might have risen higher, but none captured San Francisco's aspirations better than Flour + Water. Owners David White and David Steele found expandable talent in chef Thomas McNaughton, whose confidence seemed to swell as Flour + Water's reputation went New York Times. Even cannier than enlisting McNaughton, White and Steele understood that this is a city that loves to glimpse the sublime in the offhand. It's as though they studied Delfina's mix of kick-back vibe and stepped-up cooking and stretched it further. The dining room they created might be fitted out with chunky wood furniture that would've felt at home in a Berkeley coffeehouse, but from the beginning the kitchen has turned out dishes marked by a precarious delicacy: lithe housemade pastas mingling with beautiful greens and vegetables; seafood whose rustic sauces achieve a shimmering opacity; pizzas scattered with deeply flavored things like beef marrow and fava leaves. Flour + Water has taken the genre that Alice Waters built almost four decades ago and made it feel authentically 2010.