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Michelin 2011: Bay Area Bib Gourmand’s Released

Local restaurants considered a good value and top find are lauded

Although Willi's Seafood got the Bib tag, it was actually the WIne Bar that won the honor

Though chefs pretend not to care, the arrival of Michelin’s little red book each year is a Big Deal. It’s closely guarded critics rank Bay Area restaurants each year, doling out stars to the cream of the crop. And though there’s always plenty of Monday-morning quarterbacking among fooderati, a Michelin nod can mean serious cred for a kitchen. Losing a star can empty a restaurant faster than a mouse turd in the vichyssoise, and chefs have even been known to take it a little too seriously.
While toques sweat it out for the official announcements (scheduled for Oct. 26, 2010), the guide has pre-released it’s Bib Gourmand winners — tasty hidden gems where the price is right. (Officially, “the restaurant is an inspector’s favorite for good value. For $40 or less, you can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine or dessert (not including tax and gratuity)”.)
Winners were feted by Michelin staff tagging their sidewalks with a happy Michelin man (in chalk) — see photos.

Congrats to the following Sonoma and Napa winners:

Gone from last year’s Bib Gourmand lineup: Angele, Cena Luna (closed), Mirepoix (which has significantly changed their menu to reflect a more upscale experience since the opening of Bistro M), and Zazu.

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