Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2013 Edition)

I do this rant every year and will continue to do so until San Jose nabs a Michelin star restaurant. For the non-foodies out there, a Michelin star represents one of the highest achievements and forms of recognition that a restaurant can get. There are three different rankings:

One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.

I have gone ahead and made a Google doc listing all of the 2013 Bay Area Michelin star recipients as well as the recipients for each year since Bay Area restaurants started being evaluated in 2007. This data was surprisingly not that easy to aggregate since it was hard to find the lists of early recipients. If you open the doc, you will also notice a Stats tab on the bottom that shows how things have evolved over the years.

In 2007 the Bay Area received a total of 34 stars across 28 restaurants. Only 2 restaurants were in the South Bay (7% of the total). For 2013, the Bay Area received 52 stars across 42 restaurants and 5 were in the South Bay (12%). So there is definitely some improvement for the region as a whole, but unfortunately there is yet to be a single San Jose recipient. I have been to quite a few on the list below (13 of them in fact), and there are at least two San Jose restaurants that should definitely be there. Le Papillion and La Foret, which are sister restaurants and offer phenomenal food and service equal to many of the places on the list. I also have high hopes that new aspiring chefs will decide to open up restaurants Downtown that may one day qualify for a star.

You can check out the full Google doc here. The South Bay restaurants are highlighted in yellow and the Peninsula restaurants in northern Silicon Valley are highlighted in blue.

P.S. Hat tip to All Spice in San Mateo for being the first Indian restaurant to make the cut in the US as far as I know.


14 comments:

  1. Either they belittle San Jose, or San Jose doesn't have these quality restaurants. It's embarrassment and a travesty! I guess San Jose is a little hick town, still.

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    1. Dude, relax. It's more a measure of how hard a Michelin star is to get. Guess who else has none? Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Miami...

      They only do New York, Chicago, and the SF bay area in the US because they don't even think it's worth wasting their time anywhere else.

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  2. Josh,
    Just my opinion, but if a downtown restaurant serves good food and is a quality venue with a great atmosphere, who cares if it's a Michelin (respectfully)
    BTW Josh, read in yesterday's Merc that the Greek restaurant at the E&O Trading space will open within the next month. Good news indeed ;)

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    1. Here's the blurb from the Merc:

      "COMING SOON: When E&O Trading Co. closed its doors in downtown San Jose in March 2011, it seemed like another restaurant would be moving in quickly to the location at the corner of South First and San Fernando streets. Well, it wasn't quick, but work has been steady the past few weeks transforming it into Nemea Greek Taverna. I ran into owner Nick Tsigaris hard at work recently, and he was optimistic about an opening in the next few weeks."

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  3. Curb cafes (parklets) could be coming to DTSJ:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Curb-Cafes-May-Come-to-San-Jose-186099391.html

    I know that Chachos has asked for a permit already...

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  4. Anyone have more info on this:

    "The Farmer's Union is a new restaurant/bar destined to be San Jose's premium Ale House/Sports Bar. Owned by 151 Partners LLC, and managed by KemperSports, The Farmer's Union is located in the historic San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose, California, and is only an 8 minute walk from HP Pavilion, the home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks. The Farmer's Union is tentatively scheduled to open the week of Saint Patrick's Day, in time for March Madness and the NCAA 2nd and 3rd rounds hosted at HP Pavilion. The Farmer's Union will offer 51 beers on tap and will boast the largest television screen in Silicon Valley to catch all the latest regional and national sporting events. Decorated with historical references of San Jose, The Farmer's Union will provide California cuisine featuring many of the old favorites as well as a few healthier options at a great value." ?

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    1. Hmm, I wonder if this is going to be the new restaurant replacing Sabor that will integrate with the San Pedro Square Market.

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  5. No. It's at west santa clara and san pedro. Someone writing the san jose blog should know that.

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    1. This is the first I heard about The Farmer's Union, where did you find the information? This must be at the old Spiedo space, which is 7,000 sqft withe a 5,000 sqft basement.

      Also, this is a side project, I'm not going to know every detail about San Jose.

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  6. I heard about it because I live and work downtown.

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    1. Where did you get the text above from?

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    2. There are two different anons posting here, I found the description for The Farmers Union on a craigslist job posting (I periodically check them to see if anything interesting pops up for DTSJ in regards to retail and restaurants).....

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