Few surprises in 2017 Bay Area Michelin Stars

The perennial foodie grudge match between NYC and SF has been settled.

The longtime grudge match for restaurant superiority between NYC and the Bay Area just got settled. At least for now.

The announcement of the 2017 Michelin stars for San Francisco brought with it the fist-pumping news that we finally have six three-star restaurants, an equal number as NYC. On that rarified list is newcomer Quince, which was bumped up from two stars, along with SF’s Benu and Saison; Napa Valley’s Restaurant at Meadowood and French Laundry; and Manresa in the South Bay. The grand total of Bay Area Michelin stars is now at 54, up four from last year.

Quince is run by Lindsay and Michael Tusk, serving inspired cuisine that pays homage to classic Italian flavors with a refined contemporary flair,” according to a prepared release from Michelin. The couple got props from fellow three-star restaurant owner Thomas Keller of The French Laundry.

“We have closely watched Chef Michael Tusk for several years now. In his cuisine, every dish, even the simplest, is exceptional,” comments Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin Guide. “It is his fine, precise techniques, that now makes Quince a unique experience for the customer: an experience that is worth the trip.” The “famously anonymous” inspectors for the restaurant guide seem to have been on cruise control, however, when it came to the rest of the list. There were few changes from the 2016 list of two and three-star honorees. SF’s Lazy Bear was bumped up to two stars from its single star last year and seven restaurants were tapped for a first star, though none were north of San Francisco. Wine Country kept its eight one-star ratings: Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford), Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant (Forestville), La Toque (Napa), Solbar (Calistoga), Terra (St. Helena) and Terrapin Creek (Bodega Bay). Solbar chef Brandon Sharp left in October for a job in North Carolina after nine consecutive one-star wins for the restaurant. This is Healdsburg’s Farmhouse Inn’s eleventh consecutive Michelin one-star rating.

Restaurants chosen for the annual Michelin guide are judged on five criteria defined by Michelin: product quality; preparation and flavors; the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine; value for money; and consistency over time and across the entire menu. The official 2017 San Francisco Michelin Guide will be released on Oct. 25, 2016, and will include the Bib Gourmand restaurants awarded last week.

Here’s the full list of Bay Area Michelin-star restaurants…

Three Stars

Benu, San Francisco
The French Laundry, Yountville
Manresa, Los Gatos
Quince, San Francisco (NEW, up from 2 stars)
The Restaurant at Meadowood, Wine Country
Saison, San Francisco

Two Stars

Acquerello, San Francisco
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Baumé, South Bay
Campton Place, San Francisco
Coi, San Francisco
Commis, Oakland
Lazy Bear, San Francisco (NEW, up from one star)

One Star

Adega, San Jose (NEW)
Al’s Place, San Francisco
Aster, San Francisco
Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford
Aziza, San Francisco
Bouchon, Yountville
Californios, San Francisco
Chez TJ, South Bay
Commonwealth, San Francisco
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
Gary Danko, San Francisco
Hashiri, San Francisco (NEW)
Ju-ni, San Francisco (NEW)
Keiko à Nob Hill, San Francisco
Kin Khao, San Francisco
La Toque, Napa
Lord Stanley, San Francisco
Luce, San Francisco
Madera, Peninsula (NEW)
Madrona Manor, Wine Country
Michael Mina, San Francisco
Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco (NEW)
Mosu, San Francisco (NEW)
Mourad, San Francisco
Nico, San Francisco
Octavia, San Francisco
Omakase, San Francisco
Plumed Horse, South Bay
The Progress, San Francisco (NEW)
Rasa, Peninsula
Solbar, Calistoga
Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
SPQR, San Francisco
Spruce, San Francisco
State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Sushi Yoshizumi, Peninsula
Terra, St. Helena
Terrapin Creek, Bodega Bay
The Village Pub, Peninsula
Wako, San Francisco
Wakuriya, Peninsula