Italian, French, Chinese... The Twin Cities area is a United Nations of food. All you have to do is walk down Magnolia Boulevard to find at least five different restaurant types.
So, finding the best restaurant in town is no easy task. That's why we split them up into categories for our first "Best of Patch" poll, which began with the Best Italian Restaurant. Even then, it wasn't easy to find the line between Italian restaurants, pizzerias and all-around excellent restaurants.
The clear winner of the inaugural poll: Benissimo Ristorante & Bar in Corte Madera, which got twice as many votes as any other restaurant. That might be no surprise to the loyal customers who have been enjoying Benissimo's food since the restaurant opened in 1987. That's when I first started going to Benissimo for some of the best pizza around.
Brothers Manoochehr and Saheed Farahmand might not have been born in Italy, but they've adopted it as part of their heritage. Dubbed Mario and Tony, respectively, the brothers came to Corte Madera with Mario's Italian wife after a successful eight-year stint running a restaurant in Umbria, Italy.
The restaurant has seen a lot of changes since then to its menu and dining area. Benissimo offers a fine selection of pastas, salads, soups and drinks. Wednesday is Martini Night. The restaurant brings in live jazz music on Thursdays.
The brothers are planning to bring a new taste sensation to Corte Madera, with a new eatery at the Park Madera shopping center.
Look for more of your favorite eateries and stores in future Patch polls. If you have any suggestions for future "Best of" polls, please submit suggestions, along with candidates.
Our next "Best of" poll will be a search for the best place for a children's party. Vote early and often.