Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2012 Edition)

It's time for my annual rant on San Jose not having any Michelin star restaurants. The Michelin Guide is likely the most prestigious handbook for top restaurants in the world. In the US, they only publish the guide for 3 regions: New York, The Bay Area, and Chicago. The good news is that for 2012 we now have 47 restaurants in the Bay Area with at least one Michelin star. The bad news is none of them are in San Jose (even Oakland has one).

I do think it's only a matter of time before we get a Michel-rated restaurant. In fact, I'm really surprised Le Papillon and La Foret did not make the cut yet. I've been to a quarter of Michelin restaurants in the bay, and both of these are better than many of them. Heck, I'll even call out one restaurant--Village Pub--for really not deserving to be on the list below at all.

As for the South Bay as a whole, we have the same 6 restaurants as last year (highlighted below). Thankfully we didn't lose any, and Baume in Palo Alto was upgraded from a single star to a coveted two star designation. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next year we'll at minimum increase the South Bay's representation in the guide with a few more restaurants, and hopefully one of those will be in San Jose. I'll also add that it would be pretty slick to see a Mexican, Vietnamese, or Indian restaurant achieve this status in the South Bay. This would really stand out as something unique not only in the Bay Area, but also internationally (very few non-French ethnic restaurants get stars, Dio Deka is our South Bay exception).

Three Stars
Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
French Laundry, Yountville

Two Stars
Baume, South Bay*
Benu, San Francisco
Coi, San Francisco
Cyrus, Healdsburg
Manresa, South Bay*
Saison, San Francisco*

One Star
Acquerello, San Francisco
Alexander’s Steakhouse, South Bay*
Ame, San Francisco*
Applewood, Guerneville
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Auberge du Soleil, St. Helena
Aziza, San Francisco
Bouchon, Yountville
Boulevard, San Francisco
Campton Place, San Francisco
Chez TJ, South Bay*
Commis, East Bay
Dio Deka, South Bay*
Etoile, Yountville*
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
Fleur de Lys, San Francisco
Frances, San Francisco
Gary Danko, San Francisco*
La Costanera, Peninsula
La Folie, San Francisco
La Toque, Napa
Luce, San Francisco*
Madera, Peninsula*
Madrona Manor, Healdsburg
Masa’s, San Francisco
Michael Mina, San Francisco
One Market, San Francisco
Plumed Horse, South Bay*
Quince, San Francisco
Redd, Yountville
Sante, Sonoma
Solbar, Calistoga
Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
Spruce, San Francisco
Terra, St. Helena
Terrapin Creek, Bodega Bay
Ubuntu, Napa
Village Pub, Peninsula*
Wakuriya, Peninsula

* Restaurants Josh has been to

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