03 October 2006 ~ 0 Comments

First ever Michelin guide for San Francisco, the Bay Area and the Wine Country

Michelin just released its first ever famous Restaurant Guide for restaurants and hotels around San Franciso. The Michelin guide is known as the Rolls Royce of food critics. The Michelin stars are something very coveted by chefs from France (where it started), and Europe. However, the guide and its critics are only bestowing its one, two or three stars ratings to a select few restaurants. After issuing a guide for New York not too long ago, they finally have San Francisco covered.
This guide was several months in the making, and appears to follow the same principles other guides follow. The results: only 1 3-stars rating, 4 2-stars ratings, and 29 1-stars. From a region so blessed with so many good places to eat, I was expecting a bit more, but given Michelin’s reputation, I can’t be that surprised. For example, I’m surprise not Restaurant in Palo Alto makes the list. Reportedly, the people behind the guide never annouce themselves, pay for their own meal, and can visit the restaurants several times during the review period, which helps in judging not only the quality, but also the consistency of a restaurant and its chef.

Here’s a partial list of the top rated restaurants.

3 stars

  • The French Laundry, in vacaville. Chef: Thomas Keller. Their website.

The French Laundry does not need an introduction, especially if you live around here. Extremely difficult to get a reservation. I bet it is going to be impossible now!

2 stars

  • Aqua, in San Francisco. Chef: Laurent Manrique. No website?!
  • Cyrus, Headlsburg. Chef: Douglas Keane. Their website.
  • Manresa, Los Gatos. Chef: David Kinch. Their website.
  • Michael Mina, San Francisco. Chef: Michael Mina. Their website.

I’m surprised, and delighted at the same time that Manresa, litterally right in my backyard got 2 stars. I guess I’ll have to pay them a visit soon!

1 star

Here’s a notable selection, either because I’ve eaten there, or heard about them directly. For the full list, see the Michelin site. The full list includes 29 restaurants.

  • Bistro Jeanty. Yountville. Chef: Philippe Jeanty. Their website. Nice Bal Musette on their website 🙂
  • Chez Panisse: Berkeley. Chef Alice Waters. Their website. Across the bay. I’ve been wanting to go for a long time. One more reason to.
  • Chez TJ. Mountain View. Chef: Christopher Kostow . Their website. I can’t believe I walked by so many times, with barely a second look. Oh well. It is not too late to fix that.
  • Fleur de Lys. San Francisco. Chef: Hubert Keller. Their website. Best foie gras I ever had!
  • La Folie. San Francisco. Chef: Roland Passot . Their website. Not only is the food exquisite, but it looks so good you can’t be sure whether you should only be looking at it, or dive in!

Hats off to all of you!

You can get the Michelin SF Guide from Amazon, or get the list on the Michelin site. The guide includes review from a lots more restaurants, and if some did not get stars, but are still worth a detour!

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