English Pea Soup at Chalkboard Bistro in Healdsburg ©heather irwin

English Pea Soup at Chalkboard Bistro in Healdsburg ©heather irwin

Restaurants wait with bated breath each year for the royal conferring of Michelin stars by the French guidebook company. Literally it can change a restaurant’s status overnight — either for better or worse. The precursor, however, are the Bib Gourmand awards, which are the pathway to stars, and a recognition of good value, excellent food and top-notch service.

This year’s Bib winners for Wine Country include Biteclub faves Backyard (Forestvilles ), Bistro Jeanty (Yountville), Bistro 29 (Santa Rosa), Boon Eat + Drink (Guerneville), C Casa )Napa), newcomer Chalkboard (Healdsburg), Cook (St. Helena), Cucina Paradiso (Petaluma), Glen Ellen Star (Glen Ellen), Hot Box Grill (Sonoma), La Salette (Sonoma), Monti’s Rotisserie (Santa Rosa), Oenotri (Napa), Redd Wood (Yountville), Risibisi (Petaluma), Sazon (Santa Rosa), Scopa (Healdsburg), The Girl and The Fig (Sonoma), and Willi’s Wine Bar (Santa Rosa). There are a number of restaurants we assume were too new to include (or about to get starred), but Spinster Sisters (Santa Rosa) is clearly missing from the list. Hmmmm…