Michelin’s first evaluation of the San Francisco Bay Area restaurants hit stores a couple months ago, to much fanfare. The headline on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle read, “IS MICHELIN MISGUIDED ?” It seems that the focus of the article was the errors that were found in only the second Michelin Guide to be published in the United States (the first American Guide came out last year for New York). The errors included such things as misclassifying the cuisine of some restaurants, listing restaurants that no longer exist, recognizing sommeliers or partners that left the restaurants months or even years ago. Of course, some of these errors can be explained by the lag time between when the research was done and when the Guide was actually published. However, some of the errors do make one wonder about Michelin’s research methods.
Now for the good news -- It’s probably no surprise to most people that The French Laundry (6640 Washington St., Yountville, tel: 707-944-2380) in the Wine Country came out on top, capturing the only three-star designation in the area. There are four two-star restaurants: Aqua (252 California St., San Francisco, tel: 415-956-9662); Cyrus (29 North St., Healdsburg, tel: 707-433-3311); Manresa (320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, tel: 408-354-4330); and Michael Mina (335 Powell St., San Francisco, tel: 415-397-9222). And there are 23 restaurants which earned the one-star designation.
So, we’ve had our work cut out for us, trying to eat our way through San Francisco, thanks in part to a little help from Michelin.