3 New Culinary Delights Open In The Bay Area & Wine Country

The San Francisco Bay Area’s culinary scene stands tall with 50 restaurants that earned one or more Michelin stars in 2021. There’s always a welcome mat, though, for more top-quality Bay Area & Wine Country restaurants that can satiate the tastebuds of visitors and locals.

Food expert Carolyn Jung recommends some new restaurants that opened this year. Jung is a journalist, a blogger at and the author of San Francisco’s Chef’s Table and East Bay Cooks.

“I haven’t been to every new restaurant that’s opened this year,” Jung says, “but, of the ones that I have been to, plan to go to soon or have reported on, these are three that are definitely worth making a special trip for.”

The three are Pomet in Oakland, Ethel’s Fancy in Palo Alto and Cyrus in Geyersville. Pomet is the closest to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf — about a 25-minute drive across San Francisco Bay — while Ethel’s Fancy and Cyrus require 50-minute and 90-minute drives, respectively.

The following are Jung’s comments about the three new culinary delights.

Pomfret, Oakland. “There are endless farm-to-table restaurants, but this place is a true rarity — a restaurant actually owned and operated by a family farm, K&J Orchards, that’s long been a darling of discerning chefs. About 80% of the fruit used by the restaurant is grown by K&J. You can taste that incredible freshness in the inspired dishes by chef Alan Hsu, a former sous chef at Michelin three-starred Benu in San Francisco. While other restaurants may present a last gift of a chocolate truffle or petit four before the check, Pomet instead offers slices of impeccable seasonal fruit au naturel in keeping with its agrarian spirit.”

Ethel’s Fancy, Palo Alto. “The pandemic delayed the opening of this long-anticipated restaurant. But when it opened in September, it proved more than worth the wait. Chef-owner Scott Nishiyama honed his skills at Michelin-renowned establishments Chez TJ in Mountain View, the French Laundry in Yountville and Daniel in New York. Named for both his mother and grandmother, the charming restaurant serves fun, imaginative and approachable food prepared with precision and intention. Don’t miss the crunchy, subtly sweet toasted coconut fritter draped with a seared slice of Wagyu, which may just be one of the best two-bite morsels you’ll ever have.”

Cyrus, Geyserville. “It’s taken chef Douglas Keane a decade full of twists and turns and stops and starts to reopen his acclaimed Cyrus restaurant that was forced to close in 2012 in Healdsburg. It has been reborn this year in stunning fashion in Geyserville in a soaring glass, concrete and steel building overlooking vineyards. A meal here is like a progressive dinner. Guests make their way through different parts of the restaurant to enjoy a range of beverages and introductory courses before settling into the main dining room for mains and dessert. Before departing, guests pick up gift-wrapped mignardises in a hidden room that features a Willy Wonka-like wall of cascading chocolate for one final magical moment.”

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