Showing posts with label michelin star restaurants bay area. Show all posts
Showing posts with label michelin star restaurants bay area. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

ADEGA, first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose is shutting down 😱

Ouch, this one hits me pretty hard. If you draw a Venn diagram for people that love Michelin Star restaurants, are San Jose advocates, and members of the Portuguese community--I would be right in the center. ADEGA was not just the first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose, it was the only Portuguese Michelin Star restaurant ever west of New York. They also had the largest Portuguese wine collection of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Hearing that they are shutting down is a major bummer, especially just as their sister restaurant Petiscos won a Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide (a step just below a star).

It's not all bad news. The space at 1614 Alum Rock Ave. in East San Jose / Little Portugal will be converted to a second Petiscos restaurant. This will be a format that is much more accessible to the local community, and... well, everyone else. Portuguese food is not traditionally fancy or expensive, it's down-to-earth cuisine best shared with family and friends tapas-style. That is why in many ways Petiscos is a more accurate representation of true Portuguese food, although I love what ADEGA did to elevate traditional dishes.

It also appears that they will try to open additional California Petiscos locations. Thankfully Pasteleria Adega and NOITE, two other projects by the same team are also staying open.

If you want to try ADEGA one last time (or for the first and last time) get your reservations before December 16th.

Source: SVBJ












Sunday, July 16, 2023

Petiscos in San Jose gets a rare Michelin Guide distinction

There are three main levels of recognition in the Michelin Guide, which is the most popular guide for finding the highest rated restaurants in the would. Level 1, the restaurant simply makes it into the guide. Just being listed is a huge honor and I have never seen more than 10 San Jose restaurants listed in the guide in its entire history.

Level 2 is Bib Gourmand, which means not only did the restaurant make it into the guide but you can have a multi-course meal at an affordable price at that restaurant. I can't remember a single San Jose restaurant getting a Bib Gourmand distinction until this year. The requirements is you need to be able to order two courses and wine or dessert for $40 or less.

Level 3 is when the Michelin Stars come into play. Each restaurant at this level can receive one to three stars. In the US these are typically very fancy restaurants where you can expect to drop $100-300 per person.

Petiscos is a casual restaurant owned by the proprietors of ADEGA, San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant. A couple months ago, Petiscos was added to the Michelin Guide for the first time. Now, they are one of the very first restaurants in San Jose to get the Bib Gourmand designation! The only other one I am aware of is Luna Mexican Kitchen on the Alameda.

Considering San Jose only has four restaurants total in the Michelin Guide right now, it is pretty big news that two of them now have the Bib Gourmand distinction. Hopefully many more San Jose restaurants will be recognized in the future.

Source: EATER



Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Petiscos and LeYou added to the Michelin Guide

Two San Jose restaurants were recently added to the Michelin Guide for the first time. Just being mentioned in the guide means the restaurants are worthy of a visit.

The first is none other than Petiscos in SoFA. This restaurant comes from a very special pedigree since the owners are the same as ADEGA, the first and only restaurant in San Jose to ever get a Michelin Star. Petiscos has a wide variety of Portuguese small plates designed for sharing with family and friends and some seriously delicious and unique cocktails you can't find anywhere else. The interior features a hand-painted mural of Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, a San Jose landmark off of Highway 101. It's well worth a visit and is reasonably priced given its background. At Petiscos I would highly recommend the flaming chouriço, shrimp turnovers, green bean tempura, duck rice (my favorite), octopus, peas & eggs, the pica pau, and the chocolate mouse. The Sangria and Gintuga won't disappoint if you're looking for a libation.


The second restaurant is LeYou Ethiopian off of First Street. While I haven't been there in person, it was one of the best Doordash meals I've had. With a newborn it's become a challenge to get out to new restaurants in person. I would recommend the platters and extra injera bread so you can try as many flavors as possible. I'm a total carnivore, but the vegetarian dishes blew me away. Definitely get the Four Vegetarian Sampler and the Beef Tibs. If you can handle some spice, the Katenga (toasted injera) was something I've never had before at an Ethiopian restaurant.


After a rough few years, it's great to see that the San Jose food scene is still alive and well! Bon Appétit.



Monday, April 17, 2023

Bay Area's first Portugal Restaurant Week! April 17th - April 24th

As a Portuguese-American it used to be a huge challenge to even find Portuguese food at restaurants in the Bay Area. Once Sousa's Restaurant (Azorean Portuguese) on Santa Clara Street closed down, there wasn't a single proper sit-down Portuguese restaurant in San Jose.

Fast forward to today and it's a different story. The first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose and the only Portuguese restaurant with a star in the United States is ADEGA--coincidentally in the same East San Jose retail spot as Sousa's used to be. One of the hottest Downtown San Jose restaurants is Petiscos. Then you have Uma Case in SF, LaSalette in Sonoma, and Tasca Tasca also in Sonoma. There are also outstanding Portuguese-influenced restaurants popping up like Broma in Mountain View (with a Michelin Star chef from Chez TJ).

A celebration of these restaurants kicks off today with the Bay Area's first-ever Portugal Restaurant Week. Special discounted multi-course menus will be available at Adega, Petiscos, Uma Casa, La Salete, and Tasca Tasca. Now's the time if you have yet to experience Portuguese food, which is best served family-style with wide varieties of things to try. You can't go wrong with any of the five options, but please support our San Jose restaurants so they stick around for a long, long time. 

For more info and menus, head over to the Portugal Week site over here! The event only runs until April 24th.




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bay Area Michelin Star Restaurants - 2019 Edition

The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. Unfortunately, we have some bad news this year. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant, Adega in Little Portugal, lost its star after holding the honor for two years. It's unclear why, although it is still featured in the guide as a recommended restaurant.

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 8 restaurants, which is up two from last year (one is Adega). Luna Mexican Kitchen on the Alameda is the newcomer. Fortunately we we did not lose any Michelin recommended restaurants this year.


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

I also created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2019, 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 57 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 2 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 63% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), 16% in Wine Country, 2% in the East Bay, and 2% in Marin. This is the first time ever where Silicon Valley has more Michelin Star restaurants than Wine Country. There are 5 new restaurants on the list for 2019 and 3 that did not make the cut or were closed down. The only new starred restaurant on the list from Silicon Valley is Protege in Palo Alto.

Source: Michelin Guide

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






Monday, August 7, 2017

San Jose's ADEGA and Michelin announce first Michelin All-Star Event

ADEGA is an amazing Portuguese restaurant that became the first and only Michelin-star restaurant in San Jose last year. It is also one of only two Michelin starred Portuguese restaurants in the United States. This September, ADEGA is hosting a special event involving two special meals prepared by four different Portuguese chefs, all of which have Michelin stars.

  • San Jose’s ADEGA Chefs, David Costa and Jessica Carreira
  • Chef George Mendes of Michelin one-starred Aldea in New York, NY
  • Chef Alexandre Silva of Michelin one-starred Loco in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Chef Pedro Lemos of Michelin one-starred Pedro Lemos in Porto, Portugal

This special event will take place on September 12th and 14th. Each meal will consist of seven courses, each with a carefully selected wine pairing. After the meal, there is also a networking opportunity with the all-star cast of Portuguese chefs. Part part of the proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry - California.

Tickets for this exclusive experience are $375 per person, which includes food, wine pairing, tax, and service. It is pricey, but is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a meal prepared by so many decorated chefs. You can learn more or make reservations over here.

Update: The September 13th event has been moved to September 14th


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

San Jose's ADEGA is one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants

As a San Josean of Portuguese descent, ADEGA is a very special restaurant for me. Not only is it the very first restaurant in San Jose to earn a Michelin Star, but it is one of only two Portuguese restaurants in the United States to earn that honor. ADEGA has just won a second major award, a spot on Wine Enthusiast Magazine's prestigious "America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2017."

One of ADEGA's owners is actually a wine importer, and he has amassed the largest collection of Portuguese wines outside of Portugal. This includes a large selection of ''green wines" which come from one of two varietals that only grow in Portugal.

The list was announced earlier this month and includes restaurants that the editors feel reflect the "best, brightest and most progressive wine and food experiences available today." The issue will hit newsstands in July and you can read the initial announcement over here.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2017 Edition)

Welcome to the 8th 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. This is where I typically say something like: "I'm optimistic it will only be a matter of time until our food scene gets the recognition it deserves." Well guess what--not this year! San Jose finally has a restaurant with a Michelin Star, and the honor goes to Adega in Little Portugal. I could not think of a more worthy restaurant to be San Jose's first recipient of a star.

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 12 restaurants.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2017, 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 54 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 4 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 61% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 19% in Wine Country, 19% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. This is the first year in which Silicon Valley tied with Wine Country when it comes to star distribution--thanks to Adega in San Jose and Madera in Menlo Park (which was added back this year). There are 7 new restaurants on the list for 2017 and only three from 2016 did not make the cut: All Spice, Ame, and Kusakabe (all located in SF).


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

San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
    • Swaad
  • The Alameda
    • Zona Rosa
  • Midtown
    • Walia
    • Din Tai Fung (New)
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Willow Glen
    • The Table
  • Camden
    • Zeni

In addition to Adega, Din Thai Fung (Chinese) is the latest newcomer to San Jose's "Michelin Recommended" list for San Jose. We did lose two that were recommended last year, Fratello and Rangoli. Overall, this is far and away San Jose's strongest showing in the Michelin guide to date. I'm hoping the trend continues and Adega inspires other San Jose restaurants to shoot for the moon! 

Source: Michelin Guide




Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Adega became the first restaurant ever in San Jose to get a Michelin Star!!!

This is epic news for San Jose foodies! My favorite San Jose restaurant just got the international recognition it deserves. Adega in Little Portugal has become the first and only restaurant in San Jose to win a Michelin Star!

The Michelin guide represents the highest level of recognition restaurants can achieve. Each year, I highlight the lack of Michelin restaurants in San Jose with an annual post analyzing the guide and listing all Bay Area winners. I am completely thrilled that on my 8th annual post we will finally have a restaurant representing San Jose and it could not be a more appropriate one at that.

For my full review on Adega and its stunning interpretation of authentic Portuguese cuisine, head over here.

Better yet, head to the Adega website to make a reservation before the word gets out and it gets booked out for months.

Well done Adega, well done.









Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Adega Restaurant Review

I was initially heartbroken when Sousa's, the only Portuguese sit-down restaurant in Silicon Valley, closed earlier this year after a 33-year run. Ordering Sousa's for special occasions was a family tradition of ours. However, it is time for a new generation of chefs to carry the torch and bring their own unique spin to Portuguese cuisine.

The restaurant was sold to husband-and-wife chef team David Costa and Jessica Carreira along with Carlos and Fernanda Carreira (Jessica's parents). Jessica was born and raised in San Jose. She studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu and then went to Portugal for three years to master Portuguese cuisine. By age 20 she became the head pastry chef at Restaurant Eleven, a Michelin-star restaurant in Lisbon. That is also where she met her husband David Costa. David had been cooking for over ten years and believes in transforming traditional dishes without destroying the original flavor. He has worked at several notable restaurants in addition to Restaurant Eleven and was the sous-chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon.

With Adega (which means wine cellar), David and Jessica have realized their life-dream of opening their own Portuguese restaurant. There is character in every corner of the space. Much of the furniture is hand made, original tools used in wine-making are hanging on the walls, there is a traditional tile mosaic on the back wall, even the plates and dishware are imported from Portugal. True to the restaurant's name, Adega's massive collection of Portuguese wines is one of the first things you'll notice when walking in. It is immediately clear that this is not a cookie-cutter restaurant.

Before I get to the food, let me just say I am Portuguese-American and have been eating amazing home-cooked Portuguese meals for 35 years. I've visited Portugal over 20 times and have had countless amazing, authentic meals there. The dinner I had at Adega in San Jose, was easily one of the top five Portuguese meals I have ever had in my life. I think the food here is something that everyone can appreciate, even if you have never had a Portuguese dish before. This could very well be the best fine-dining restaurant in San Jose right now.




STARTERS

House-made hummus and Portuguese bread - These comes complimentary. The hummus is a unique blend and may change from one visit to the next. The marinated olives are perfect to nibble on while you browsing the menu and wine list.

Pork belly, pea puree, poached quail egg - A must-order dish! Pork belly has become very popular in the US over the last few years. This combines perfectly cooked slices of pork with an outstanding pea puree that could stand on its own. Add the quail egg and you have magic on a plate. The presentation is also gorgeous.



Sweet prawns in a buttery garlic sauce - This is a very simple dish that is exploding with flavor. I forgot to ask how long the prawns are marinaded for, but I imagine it is a very long time. These were so good that we were looking around the table to see other's reactions when they bit into the shrimp.



Rabbit terrine with pine nuts, pistachios and cous-cous salad - Rabbit is not something you see often on American tables, but it is a popular staple of Portuguese cooking. The taste is similar to chicken and is not gamey at all like other "exotic" meats. At Adega, it is prepared perfectly in a terrine mixed with nuts and each slice sits on a bed of cous-cous. The sweet sauce on the bottom is what really elevated the whole dish for me and made it all come together. If you are adventurous, you have to try this one.







Octopus salad with roasted red pepper sauce - As beautiful as this dish was, I could only try a small bite since I'm allergic to raw onion. Everyone else at the table had no problem cleaning this plate.


SOUPS

Fresh cut kale, chourico bits, cream of potato (Caldo Verde) - This is as traditional of a Portuguese soup as you can get. It tastes just as good as how my grandmother made it, but Adega dresses up the soup with a modern presentation I have never seen before. It tastes as good as it looks.



Seafood bisque, aspic of lobster & oysters - Absolutely delicious. This is as good as any soup I have ever ordered at a Michelin-star restaurant. The soup is poured over the seafood table-side.




ENTREES

Ribeye steak, crispy Iberico ham, fried egg, fried potatoes (Bife a Portuguesa) - Wow, what an amazing and fun interpretation of a Portuguese classic. Usually this is a marinated flat-iron steak topped with an egg and french fries, but Adega has put a tuxedo on this traditional dish. They use a premium Ribeye which comes medium-rare and sizzling on a hot stone (similar to Rok Bistro). You can leave it on the stone to cook to your favorite temperature and then combine it the accompaniments on the neighboring plate.



Braised beef, roasted taro root puree, sauteed spinach (Alcatra e Inhame) - Another outstanding beef plate. This one is less interactive than the Bife a Portuguesa, but combines melt-in-your-mouth beef with taro mashed potatoes and surprisingly flavorful spinach. This was one of my wife's favorites.



Sea bass cooked with potatoes, bacon, green beans - The fish was flaky, crispy, and moist all at the same time. The texture was excellent and it had the right amount of spices.


























DESSERTS

Fried coconut rice pudding, passion fruit sauce, mojito sorbet (Arroz Doce Adega) - This might be the best Portuguese dessert I have ever had. It was not a traditional rice pudding like what I was expecting. You have three fried pastries filled with coconut rice and combine those with the passion fruit sauce and mojito sorbet in the middle. I could have eaten a half-dozen of these. This is another must-order item.



Flan pudding, caramel tile, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream - This is definitely not your traditional flan. I like this version much more and my table devoured the flan in about 20 seconds.



Orange roulade cake, cream cheese, in cardamom sauce - I don't think I have ever had this before in Portuguese cooking so I have nothing to compare this to. It was sweet, decadent, and the cake was the perfect sponge for the sauces and cream cheese.


BEVERAGES

Adega has what is likely the largest collection of Portuguese wines of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Chef Jessica's parents are both in the wine industry and have used their connections to get over 200 different types of wine across multiple regions of Portugal. You will probably need some help picking a wine similar to what you are used to, but I would recommend being adventurous and trying something that you will never find anywhere else. My pick would be a "Green Wine" (Vinho Verde), which comes from one of two varietals exclusive to Portugal. The cost for these is very inexpensive and Adega has some of the best ever made.

For dessert, you can add a shot of Port, Madeira, or Moscatel to help close out a wonderful meal. They have suggested pairings for each dessert and the cost is only $5.

Adega also has a selection of Portuguese beers and sodas. If you are going non-alcoholic then I recommend the passion fruit soda.






In conclusion, you should book a reservation ASAP before the word gets out. Adega is San Jose's best shot at getting its first Michelin Star Restaurant in 2017 and is a shining example of what the next generation of San Jose restaurants could be.

Adega is open for both lunch and dinner at 1614 Alum Rock Avenue. Hours are 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10pm Wednesday through Sunday. Parking is available behind the restaurant, across the street, and valet parking is available on weekends. You can book a table from the Adega Website.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2016 Edition)

Welcome to the 7th 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. I think the foodie culture is continuing to build momentum in San Jose, especially Downtown. I'm optimistic it will only be a matter of time until we have some unique restaurants with national recognition.

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.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2016, 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 50 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 10 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 62% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 20% in Wine Country, 16% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. There are 14 new restaurants on the list this year (see image below), as well as one significant upgrade. Manresa (Los Gatos) achieved the elusive three star rating. Manresa is not only the first restaurant in the South Bay to ever get this rating, but it is only the fifth restaurant ever to get a three star rating anywhere in the Bay Area. Several restaurants from 2015 did not make the cut, including Madera, Maruya, La Folie, Boulevard, and the All Spice in San Mateo.

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. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 13 restaurants, an all-time high for our city. Here are the lucky restaurants:

  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
    • Swaad (NEW)
  • The Alameda
    • Zona Rosa
  • Midtown
    • Walia (NEW)
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San (NEW)
  • Willow Glen
    • The Table
    • Fratello
  • Camden
    • Rangoli
    • Zeni

Swaad (Indian), Walia (Ethiopian), and Lau Mai San (Vietnamese) are all welcome additions and represent how amazing our ethnic cuisines are. All 10 San Jose restaurants that were Michelin recommended in the 2015 guide held on to that status in 2016. If you haven't been to the restaurants above, I can vouch that all of them are well worth visiting. 

Source: Michelin Guide


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2015 Edition)

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I'm going my 6th annual rant on needing to get some internationally recognized Michelin-starred restaurants in San Jose! The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric for measuring culinary greatness, and for the most part San Jose restaurants have been excluded from its pages. However, I think the foodie culture is continuing to build momentum in San Jose, especially Downtown. I'm continuing to be optimistic for the future!

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.
I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2015, 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 40 restaurants on the list, which is up 2 from last year and down from the peak of 47 in 2012. 53% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 25% in Wine Country, 20% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 3% in the East Bay. There are two new restaurant on the list this year, Kusakabe and Maruya (both Japanese) as well as three upgrades: Saison and Benu now have the elusive 3-star rating and Acquerello was upgraded to 2 stars. No restaurants from 2014 were dropped.

I will also mention that there are some restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." Within this category San Jose scored a total of 10 restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
  • The Alameda
    • Zona Rosa (NEW)
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
  • Willow Glen
    • The Table (NEW)
    • Fratello
  • Camden
    • Rangoli
    • Zeni
Zona Rosa and The Table are two well-deserved additions. Unfortunately, there were some restaurants from 2014 that did not make the cut this year: SJ Omogari in Japantown, La Costa in East San Jose, LB Steak in Santana Row, and Pizza Antica which is also in Santana Row. If we don't get some stars, at the very least we'll hopefully get more Michelin Recommended or Bib Gourmand restaurant ratings in 2016. If you haven't been to the restaurants above, I can vouch that all 9 are well worth checking out.

Source: Michelin Guide


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2014 Edition)

This is the 5th time I am doing this post. Each year it is more or less the same... we need to start getting some Michelin-starred restaurants in San Jose! The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric for measuring culinary greatness, and for the most part San Jose restaurants have been excluded from its pages. However, I think the foodie culture is growing here and I have high hopes for 2015.

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.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2014, 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 38 restaurants on the list, which is down from 42 in 2013 and the peak of 47 in 2012. 50% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 26% in Wine Country, 21% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 3% in the East Bay. The only new restaurant on the list this year is State Bird Provisions (an American dim sum-style eatery).

I will also mention that there are some restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." Within this category San Jose scored a total of 8 restaurants:

  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
  • Santana Row
    • LB Steak
    • Pizza Antica
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • East San Jose
    • La Costa
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
  • Willow Glen
    • Fratello
  • Japantown
    • SJ Omogari

Source: Michelin Guide


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.


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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2011 Michelin Restaurant Ratings

The Michelin Guide is one of the most renowned dining guides in the world. A restaurant getting a Michelin star is the equivalent to an athlete getting a medal in the Olympics. Last year I ranted about San Jose not claiming a single Michelin star restaurant, and it looks like this year the situation has not changed. At least in the 2011 Michelin Guide, they are recognizing that the South Bay is indeed an "Area" as last year they listed Silicon Valley restaurants as "South of San Francisco." You can see the full list below of the 44 Michelin Star recipients (6 of which are in Silicon Valley).

Instead of ranting this year I'll offer an idea and some encouragement. First up, the idea. Michelin star restaurants are huge draws for people. They usually book weeks if not months in advance and are a source of pride and international recognition for the neighborhoods they are in. Why not provide a monetary incentive for restaurants that receive a Michelin star that are located in San Jose (much the same way the USOC provides a monetary incentive for Olympic medalists)? This would encourage pioneering restaurateurs to open up shop in San Jose as well as drive existing restaurants to push their innovation and creativity in order to achieve the highest level of acclaim in their field.

Okay now for some encouragement. There are at least two restaurants in San Jose that are run by chefs that have already earned a Michelin star. This is at least a step in the right direction from last year. The first is Salvatore Calisi who was former head chef of Dio Deka and is now responsible for Ristorante Fratello on Meridian Ave. The second is Michael Miller, who was head chef at Traverse (closed because of dramatic rent hikes), and is now the executive chef at the Silicon Valley Capital Club downtown.

San Jose has achieved so much in the past few decades and already has a knack for innovation and a vibrant restaurant scene. Being known for cutting edge restaurants and have the stars to back that up as a fact (such as Napa does now), well... you can add that to my wishlist for San Jose in 2020.



Every restaurant listed in the MICHELIN Guide is recommended by our team of professional inspectors. The ones listed below have earned stars that reflect their exceptional culinary achievements, regardless of cuisine style. Stars represent only what is on the plate. They do not take into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings.


Read the release

Use the links below to make reservations at your favorite San Francisco restaurant, compliments of OpenTable.com.
starRestaurantsAreaNeighborhoodReservations
Acquerello
San Francisco
Nob Hill
Reserve a table
Alexander's Steakhouse (New)*South Bay CupertinoReserve a table
Ame*San FranciscoSoMaReserve a table
Applewood (New)Wine CountrySonoma CountyReserve a table
Auberge du Soleil
Wine Country
Napa Valley
Reserve a table
AzizaSan FranciscoRichmond & SunsetReserve a table
Baumé (New)*South BayPalo AltoReserve a table
Bouchon
Wine Country
Napa Valley
Reserve a table
Boulevard
San Francisco
SoMa
Reserve a table
Campton Place (New)San FranciscoFinancial DistrictReserve a table
Chez TJ*South BayMountain ViewReserve a table
CommisEast BayOaklandReserve a table
Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, The*
San Francisco
Nob Hill
Reserve a table
Dio Deka (New)South BayLos GatosReserve a table
Ă©toileWine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Wine Country
Sonoma County
Reserve a table
Fleur de LysSan FranciscoFinancial DistrictReserve a table
Frances (New)San FranciscoCastroReserve a table
Gary Danko*
San Francisco
North Beach
La FolieSan FranciscoNob HillReserve a table
La ToqueWine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table
Luce*San FranciscoSoMaReserve a table
Madera (New)*PeninsulaMenlo ParkReserve a table
Madrona ManorWine CountrySonoma CountyReserve a table
Masa's
San Francisco
Nob Hill
Reserve a table
Mirepoix (New)Wine CountrySonoma County
Murray CircleMarinSausalitoReserve a table
One MarketSan FranciscoSoMaReserve a table
Plumed Horse*
South Bay
Saratoga
Reserve a table
QuinceSan FranciscoNorth BeachReserve a table
ReddWine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table
Saison (New)*San FranciscoMissionReserve a table
SantéWine CountrySonoma CountyReserve a table
SolbarWine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table
Spruce (New)San FranciscoMarinaReserve a table
Terra
Wine Country
Napa Valley
Reserve a table
UbuntuWine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table
Village Pub, The*PeninsulaWoodsideReserve a table
Wakuriya (New)PeninsulaSan Mateo
starRestaurantsCityNeighborhoodReservations
CoiSan FranciscoNorth BeachReserve a table
Cyrus
Wine Country
Sonoma County
Reserve a table
Manresa*
South Bay
Los Gatos
Reserve a table


starRestaurantsCityNeighborhoodReservations
French Laundry, The
Wine Country
Napa Valley
Reserve a table
Restaurant at Meadowood, The (New)Wine CountryNapa ValleyReserve a table

* Restaurants Josh has been to