Healdsburg’s Single Thread has been awarded an astounding three Michelin stars in its second year of operation. The restaurant, which is likely shortlisted as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants for 2019, is one of 57 Bay Area restaurants tapped on Nov. 29. It is the first Sonoma County restaurant ever to receive three stars.

“We are so incredibly proud of our hard-working team of farmers, chefs and service professionals. Everyone has dedicated so much these past two years to create an environment of warm hospitality. It’s such an honor to be here in Sonoma County amongst talented farmers, winemakers, and artisans. We are very proud to share this with all of them,” said chef/owner Kyle Connaughton.

According to Michelin: “SingleThread has risen to the top of Sonoma County’s dining scene since its opening in 2016. The talented couple behind this powerhouse project has shown consistent commitment to the highest standards of ingredient quality and exceptionally refined cuisine.”  Three stars are considered the highest honor a restaurant can receive. The guides started in 1900 as a way for motorists to find good hotels and restaurants. (And a good marketing ploy for Michelin tires). Three stars is “worth a special journey” according to the guide.

Also receiving three stars is Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, up from two last year. 

Keeping their three stars in Wine Country is The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, the French Laundry in Yountville, and, in San Francisco and the Peninsula, Quince, Benu, Saison and Manresa.

Coi in San Francisco gets bumped down to two stars, with the rest of the category remaining much the same. There are no North Bay two-star restaurants.

Finally, with one star, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg and the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville keep their winning streaks going — both with more than a decade on the list. Bodega Bay’s Terrapin Creek fell off the list this year.

“The dining scene in San Francisco is booming at the moment and our inspectors were especially impressed with the choice of cuisine styles, the levels of consistency and the overall high quality of the food they found in the city,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides.

In particular, the teams at Atelier Crenn and SingleThread should be extremely proud, as our inspectors were very impressed by the quality of the produce used in the preparation of the dishes. This, along with their meticulous attention to detail, creativity, and dedication to delighting their customers, means they always offer diners a memorable and very enjoyable gastronomic experience. Without a doubt, they are definitely worth a special journey!”

The “famously anonymous” inspectors for the restaurant guide have upped their game in recent years after being on cruise control for what seemed like years. The list, however, is a pretty hard code to crack and has, from time to time, been considered a curse for small restaurants that get overwhelmed by the publicity.

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 2019 San Francisco Michelin Guide will be released on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and will include the Bib Gourmand restaurants awarded last week.

If you want a taste of Michelin star chefs, Single Thread will host an event on Dec. 4 at the Healdsburg restaurant with Dominique Crenn from Atelier Crenn. The event will feature eleven courses showcases each of the chefs. Tickets are $325 per person.

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

THREE STARS

Atelier Crenn

Single Thread

Benu

The French Laundry

Manresa

Quince

The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena)

Saison

TWO STARS

Acquerello

Baumé

Californios

Coi

Commis

Lazy Bear

ONE STAR

Al’s Place

Aster

Auberge du Soleil (Napa)

Bouchon (Yountville)

Bar Crenn (NEW)

Birdsong (NEW)

Bouchon

Campton Place

Chez TJ

Commonwealth

Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant (Forestville)

Gary Danko

Hashiri

In Situ

jū-ni

Keiko à Nob Hill

Kenzo

Kin Khao

Kinjo (New)

La Toque (Napa)

Lord Stanley

Luce

Madcap (NEW)

Madera

Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)

Michael Mina

Mister Jiu’s

Mourad

Nico (NEW)

Octavia

Omakase

Plumed Horse

Progress (The)

Protege (NEW)

Rasa

Rich Table (New)

Sons & Daughters

SPQR

Spruce

State Bird Provisions

Sushi Yoshizumi

The Village Pub

Wako

Wakuriya