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Why Foodies Should Flock to San Francisco Instead of New York

Michelin has delivered some good news to the Bay Area.

Today, the restaurant bible announced the places that it has awarded one, two, and three stars in and around San Francisco. The news had been postponed, due to the wildfires in the area.

There are now seven Michelin three-star restaurants in San Francisco. The newest addition is Coi, a modern, thought-provoking restaurant near the Financial District. Chef/owner Daniel Patterson handed over kitchen duties to Matthew Kirkley early last year; in response, the restaurant gained a star. “Matthew Kirkley has taken the restaurant to another level,” says Michael Ellis, international director of the . “He can combine sweetbreads and skate. He can serve a dish like sea urchin mousseline with grapefruit caramel. You think, ‘How can that work?’ Yet it does.”

The newly three-starred dining room at Coi. 
Source: Coi

Patterson agreed. “I’m so happy for Matt,” he told Bloomberg after hearing the announcement. “He’s worked incredibly hard and he’s very deserving. I knew when I hired him he would cook at a three-star level and it’s great to see that hard work truly recognized.”

New York has only six Michelin three-stars, at least for the moment. The 2018 winners will be announced on Monday, Oct. 30. It remains to be seen whether New York will gain any more; the Bay Area seems to be ahead of the Big Apple in terms of creativity and ambitious cooking, and it has an affluent, young, tech-industry workforce that supports this—at least on the higher end. 

The Michelin two-star category included mostly good news, too, for the Bay Area. Two restaurants were freshly named: the modern Mexican Californos, in the Mission, and the exceptional, farm-based, Japanese-minded Single Thread, in Healdsburg.

In all, 55 restaurants earned Michelin stars; last year there were 54. That bucked the trend for the area’s inexpensive restaurants—the Bib Gourmands, Michelin’s cheap eats, listed 67 spots this year, down from 74 a year ago. (For anyone wondering whether the charming, New American Rich Table was taken off that list because it landed a Michelin star this year, the answer is “Yes.”)

Another worthy addition to the list is Kenzo, the elegant Japanese omakase spot in Napa that’s attached to the winery of the same name. It’s owned by video game mogul Kenzo Tsujimoto, chief executive officer of Capcom Co. Also notable is In Situ, from chef Corey Lee. His restaurant in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art received a star for recreating the world’s most famous dishes from such chefs as Massimo Bottura, David Chang, and Wylie Dufresne

The extraordinary Single Thread catapulted to win two Michelin stars in a single year.
Photographer: Garrett Rowland

One restaurant that was downgraded from two stars to one is Campton Place. “It went to an all-tasting-menu format, which is fine, but the bar is higher,” notes Ellis. Several one-star spots shut their doors, including Aziza, Mosu, and Nico.

“There’s a lot of high level cooking going on in San Francisco right now,” Patterson says. “It’s at the highest level I’ve seen it. When we opened Coi [in 2006], there was nothing. I’ve seen it go from zero to where it is now. It’s been a  remarkable evolution.”

Ellis says we’ll have to wait until the New York stars are announced to see whether San Francisco has emerged as the better food city. “New York has a lot of talent. But there’s a particular, creative energy and almost unlimited ambition coming out of California. There are huge Asian and Mexican influences, access to incredible products both locally and from Japan, and a young, thriving audience. It’s a perfect cocktail of things coming together for the city’s culinary scene.” The full list follows.

(An asterisk denotes a new entry.)

Three Stars

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Benu, San Francisco
*Coi, San Francisco 
The French Laundry, Yountville
Manresa, Los Gatos
Quince, San Francisco
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
Saison, San Francisco

 

Two Stars

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Acquerello, San Francisco
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco   
Baumé, Palo Alto
*Californios, Mission
Commis, Oakland
Lazy Bear, San Francisco
*Single Thread, Sonoma County 
 

One Star

A post shared by Kin Khao (@kinkhao) on

Adega, San Jose
Al's Place, San Francisco Mission   
Aster, San Francisco Mission   
Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford
Aziza, San Francisco 
Bouchon, Yountville
Campton Place, San Francisco
Chez TJ, Mountain View
Commonwealth, San Francisco   
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
Gary Danko, San Francisco 
Hashiri, San Francisco
*In Situ, San Francisco 
Ju-ni, San Francisco
Keiko à Nob Hill, San Francisco 
*Kenzo, Wine Country 
Kin Khao, San Francisco  
*Kinjo, San Francisco
La Toque, Napa 
Lord Stanley, San Francisco    
Luce, San Francisco
Madera, Peninsula, Menlo Park 
Madrona Manor, Wine Country
Michael Mina, San Francisco
Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
Mourad, San Francisco
Octavia, San Francisco
Omakase, San Francisco
Plumed Horse, South Bay
The Progress , San Francisco
 

It takes a team to get a Michelin star: the staff of Rich Table.
Source: Rich Table

Rasa, Peninsula
*Rich Table, San Francisco 
Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
SPQR, San Francisco
Spruce, San Francisco
State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Sushi Yoshizumi, Peninsula
Terra, Wine Country
Terrapin Creek, Wine country
The Village Pub, Peninsula
Wako, San Francisco
Wakuriya, Peninsula

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-25/michelin-guide-gives-san-francisco-seven-three-star-restaurants

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