Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2018 Edition)

Welcome to the 9th annual Wednesday Wishlist post where the topic is getting restaurants in San Jose worthy of Michelin starts. The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant, Adega in Little Portugal, retained the honor for a second year. I will also have some big news related to Adega later this year.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • 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.
There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 6 restaurants, which is significantly down from last year but it seems like the guide has trimmed the number of recipients throughout the Bay (the book was trimmed by 70 pages this year).

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2018, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 55 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 1 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 60% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 20% in Wine Country, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. Silicon Valley is nearly tied with Wine Country when it comes to number of restaurants with stars. There are 5 new restaurants on the list for 2017 and 4 from last year that did not make the cut or were closed down: Aziza, Mosu, Nico, and Solbar.

San Jose Michelin Starred Restaurants:
  • East San Jose
    • Adega (* 1 STAR *)

San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Back A Yard
  • Midtown
    • Walia
    • Din Tai Fung
  • South San Jose
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Camden
    • Zeni

The Michelin Recommended restaurants that we lost over the past year were Vung Tau, Swaad, Zona Rosa, Smoking Pig BBQ, Bun Bo Hue An Nam, and the Table. I'm a bit surprised about some of those but hopefully they will be back next year. I'm also optimistic that Adega will inspire other San Jose restaurants to go after stars!

Source: Michelin Guide

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