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Michelin 2007 Results for SF


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3 STARS

- The French Laundry

2 STARS

- Aqua

- Cyrus

- Manresa

- Michael Mina

1 STAR

- Gary Danko

- Fleur de Lys

- Rubicon

- Bushi-Tei

- Quince

- Range

- Acquerello

- La Folie

- Masa’s

- Ritz-Carlton Dining Room

- Boulevard

- Fifth Floor

- Chez Panisse

- Sushi-Ran

- Chez TJ

- Auberge du Soleil

- Bistro Jeanty

- Bouchon

- La Toque

- Terra

- Dry Creek Kitchen

- Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant

- K & L Bistro - Sebastopol

You can see more on the official press release here.

[edited to add URL]

Edited by lizard (log)
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Thanks for posting. The 1 Star list is a mish-mash. Surprising that Danko and maybe a few others didn't get the 2.

Agreed. We're all musing about the number of pots being thrown in kitchens throughout the Bay Area. The Danko rating has to be especially painful in light of former co-owner Nick Peyton's 2-star coup at Cyrus.

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Thanks for posting. The 1 Star list is a mish-mash. Surprising that Danko and maybe a few others didn't get the 2.

Agreed. We're all musing about the number of pots being thrown in kitchens throughout the Bay Area. The Danko rating has to be especially painful in light of former co-owner Nick Peyton's 2-star coup at Cyrus.

Wow, these guys are tough. The Danko ranking jumps off the page.

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Hey, not so fast. I cook at a one star restaurant on this list (one that many perhaps expected to get more), and I've got to tell you, the only pots being thrown today are out of joy. There's going to be a lot of champagne flowing tonight. You've got to remember that a Michelin star is a fantasy for most any restaurant - a single star is a pretty fucking enormous compliment.

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Hey, not so fast. I cook at a one star restaurant on this list (one that many perhaps expected to get more), and I've got to tell you, the only pots being thrown today are out of joy. There's going to be a lot of champagne flowing tonight. You've got to remember that a Michelin star is a fantasy for most any restaurant - a single star is a pretty fucking enormous compliment.

Congrats to you and your crew!

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Hey, not so fast. I cook at a one star restaurant on this list (one that many perhaps expected to get more), and I've got to tell you, the only pots being thrown today are out of joy. There's going to be a lot of champagne flowing tonight. You've got to remember that a Michelin star is a fantasy for most any restaurant - a single star is a pretty fucking enormous compliment.

That's very nice to hear. Congratulations all around! Will you be at the Ferry building tonight, or are you on shift?

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Congrats to all the restaurant owners, chefs and staff that made into the SF "constellation!" I'm personally pleased to see Chef Kinch receive two stars!

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I'm trying to decide if this is a knock on SF restaurant culture relative to the stars given out last year in NYC, or if these ratings are just a half-step closer to genuine Michelin standards.  Any thoughts?

I'll bite. After living in San Francisco for a number of years, I was eagerly awaiting the announcement, and to be honest, it left me extremely apathetic to the whole thing. I don't mean to discredit those who have earned their stars (and congrats go out to you! :smile: ) but the whole Michelin Guide seems to me at least, to be a bit lost here in America.

Maybe it's just the marketing major in me, but a guidebook isn't just about awarding stars to restaurants..it's about helping the consumer (who is purchasing the guide) pick a place to eat , maybe a place to stay, and provide helpful information about the properties listed. After having eaten at many of the restaurants on the list, I would be dumbfounded if I was using their guide as a starting off point. The Ritz Dining Room and Bouchon are comparable restaurants? Gary Danko and Bistro Jeanty?

For the guide to come out and say that it's just about "the food" is very misleading. A good restaurant (and especially the great ones) are about the experience. To say that service or atmosphere are such minor players in the evaluation is a bit off-putting. Michael Bauer (SF Chronicle food critic) in his blog wrote that one of his concerns was that The French Laundry was perhaps too good, and that the restaurant set the bar too high for others to get 3*. I can see his point. No doubt that the Laundry deserves its three, and although I don't necessarily agree with some of the 2 stars, I can see how they got it. It's the one-stars (as in NY) that are absolutely baffling.

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Gary Danko is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere!! However, I think from a Michelin perspective it had two factors that prevented a higher star count:

1. The restaurant turns its tables far more frequently than the restaurants that scored higher

2. The restaurant only offers a five course or less (including dessert) menu option as opposed to the much longer tasting options of other higher scorers

Neither of these factors have any impact on my experience. I have always received amazing food, service and ambiance in a ultra-luxurious yet casual, relaxed and not-stuffy environment. I think that it is this balance that local diners have come to love while it is this balance that is not fully understood by the folks at Michelin.

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Gary Danko is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere!!  However, I think from a Michelin perspective it had two factors that prevented a higher star count:

1. The restaurant turns its tables far more frequently than the restaurants that scored higher

2. The restaurant only offers a five course or less (including dessert) menu option as opposed to the much longer tasting options of other higher scorers

Neither of these factors have any impact on my experience.  I have always received amazing food, service and ambiance in a ultra-luxurious yet casual, relaxed and not-stuffy environment.  I think that it is this balance that local diners have come to love while it is this balance that is not fully understood by the folks at Michelin.

all that being said how can michelin equate the experience at danko as similar to the one at dry creek kitchen, i like both places but give me a break , michelin should of stayed in europe, these ratings and the ones in nyc are a joke

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all that being said how can michelin equate the experience at danko as similar to the one at dry creek kitchen, i like both places but give me a break , michelin should of stayed in europe, these ratings and the ones in nyc are a joke

I don't know any of the restaurants in question and indeed have never been to SF, but I feel compelled to point out that the Michelin guide is about far more than stars. Interpreting it isn't always easy, I grant you, but I very much doubt Michelin are equating experiences as you suggest. For example, do both restaurants receive the same number of knives and forks?

Si

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In europe there are the exact same discussions about the michelin ratings: "how can you put elegant restaurant X in the same categorie as casual bistro Y?"

But as someone pointed out: it's the knifes and forks that mark the difference - and michelin states very clearly that one should not expect the same dining experience in a restauarnt with 1 knife&fork and 2 stars and a restaurant with 4 knifes&forks and 2 stars.

Problem in europe (especially in germany) is: the prices in michelin-starred restaurants are the same, no matter the number of knifes&forks. Or in other words: you should maybe not expect the same dining standard in a 1knife&fork-place - but you can very well expect the same prices as in restaurant with 4 or 5...

One other thing, since it was mentioned here as reason for less stars for some places: I can not understand -and Iam not willing to accept- the multiple seating-policies of many american fine-dining places. I mean: if I spend 300-400$ on a dinner for two, I can damn well expect not to be thrown out after 2 1/2 hours...

In europe this is totally unthinkable (even in a casual bistro) and the restaurant-owners do very well nevertheless - even though they pay for the service-crew themselves...which could lead us to the questionable US-tipping-politics (which might be a reason for the multiple seatings as well...).

So, if michelin decides not to award such restaurants multiple stars (with execptions to the rule), they are very right, in my opinion.

But maybe someone can explain to me, why american gourmets accept multiple seating so readily.

Thanks alot!

greetings

kai

Edited by kai-m (log)
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(...) For example, do both restaurants receive the same number of knives and forks?

Si

According to michelin, Knives and Forks, has more to see with comfort of the dining room, and stars with food quality.

Edited by PauloR (log)
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(...) For example, do both restaurants receive the same number of knives and forks?

Si

According to michelin, Knives and Forks, as more to see with comfort of the dining room, and stars with food quality.

Yes, but one star signifies exceptional food within its category. The knives and forks are a clue as to what "category" Michelin considers the restaurant to occupy.

Look folks, I know that every other rating system in the world has

0 star = crap restaurant

1 star = mediocre restaurant

2 star = good restaurant

3 star = excellent restaurant

or some variation thereof, but Michelin doesn't work this way. Merely getting into the Michelin guide is a good start. A star is an exceptional achievement, and should be viewed as such. Sadly, most of the comments in the press release above don't demonstrate much understanding for the Michelin system, and the tone of the article does nothing to educate an unenlightened reader.

Furthermore (and I'm loathe to suggest this in many ways, but I'll continue) it's hard to shake the feeling that some of the Michelin-bashing is based on a simple anti-France bias. I hope I'm wrong about that.

Si

[edited to add: the press release linked above is not actually the article I was referring to. I read a different article (linked elsewhere on egullet?)...eh...this one here. Apologies for the confusion.]

Edited by Simon_S (log)
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all that being said how can michelin equate the experience at danko as similar to the one at dry creek kitchen, i like both places but give me a break , michelin should of stayed in europe, these ratings and the ones in nyc are a joke

They aren't equating anything. One star goes to a restaurant that is excellent in it's class. Gary Danko is apparently excellent in the banquet quality food, absurdly priced wine list, and excellent service category.

The thing about this list for me is that while I don't agree with all of the choices they've done a much much better job than the Chronicle. The Chronicle could never get away with snubbing Oliveto, Jardiniere, Zuni, Slanted Door, etc even though they've all been cruising for years on their Zagat scores and Bauer reviews. The next year will be very interesting across the board as some motivated chefs push to move up the list. I fully expect quality to improve at the restaurants that Michelin rated lower than expected.

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Discussion of the Bay Area Michelin ratings right now on KQED...

edited to add: The show will probably be available later on the website at Forum.

The guests are:

Jan Newberry, (San Francisco Magazine Food Editor)

Dan Schroeder (V.P.; Golden Gate Restaurant Assn.)

Mark Cornwall (sp?) (Zagat official)

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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comment on Danko above:

"Neither of these factors have any impact on my experience. I have always received amazing food, service and ambiance in a ultra-luxurious yet casual, relaxed and not-stuffy environment. I think that it is this balance that local diners have come to love while it is this balance that is not fully understood by the folks at Michelin."

It sounds like they understood it perfectly. You've just described the prototypical one-star Michelin restaurant.

Most of the comments on this thread are much ado about nothing because most of them display a complete ignorance as to what the Michelin stars mean.

I'm not familiar with the bay area dining scene so I can't speak as to the accuracy of the ratings other than to say that it sounds like it is full of marvelous one-star Michelin restaurants.

I can speak to NY and I'll say that except for a couple outliers it is generally agreed that Michelin did an excellent job in NY...probably the biggest complaint being that it probably bestowed three stars on one or two too many restaurants.

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all that being said how can michelin equate the experience at danko as similar to the one at dry creek kitchen, i like both places but give me a break , michelin should of stayed in europe, these ratings and the ones in nyc are a joke

They aren't equating anything. One star goes to a restaurant that is excellent in it's class. Gary Danko is apparently excellent in the banquet quality food, absurdly priced wine list, and excellent service category.

The thing about this list for me is that while I don't agree with all of the choices they've done a much much better job than the Chronicle. The Chronicle could never get away with snubbing Oliveto, Jardiniere, Zuni, Slanted Door, etc even though they've all been cruising for years on their Zagat scores and Bauer reviews. The next year will be very interesting across the board as some motivated chefs push to move up the list. I fully expect quality to improve at the restaurants that Michelin rated lower than expected.

michelin absolutely equates things in europe, so now they have dumbed down the ratings for the american market, my point is simply that just because michelin comes here doesnt mean that anyone deserves stars in any number, one of the major faults people seem to be having is with turning tables in american restaurants, but some one stars on the SF list barely turn tables while others are factories, dave i agree that the chronicle/ zagat/ gayot has lured some into complacency but i have a great reverence for the michelin system . and the list cheapened the ratings, I mean lets talk about , the fat duck, les manoir, louis xv, michel bras, au crocodile, guy savoy , robuchon, do we really have that in san fran?

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comment on Danko above:

"Neither of these factors have any impact on my experience. I have always received amazing food, service and ambiance in a ultra-luxurious yet casual, relaxed and not-stuffy environment. I think that it is this balance that local diners have come to love while it is this balance that is not fully understood by the folks at Michelin."

It sounds like they understood it perfectly.  You've just described the prototypical one-star Michelin restaurant.

Most of the comments on this thread are much ado about nothing because most of them display a complete ignorance as to what the Michelin stars mean.

I'm not familiar with the bay area dining scene so I can't speak as to the accuracy of the ratings other than to say that it sounds like it is full of marvelous one-star Michelin restaurants.

I can speak to NY and I'll say that except for a couple outliers it is generally agreed that Michelin did an excellent job in NY...probably the biggest complaint being that it probably bestowed three stars on one or two too many restaurants.

i agree with you completely , it is simply too easy to achieve a star in the US

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I mean lets talk about , the fat duck, les manoir, louis xv, michel bras, au crocodile, guy savoy , robuchon, do we really have that in san fran?

No, we don't - that's why there aren't any three star restaurants in San Francisco. I agree that the list is longer than it should be, but over all they did a fantastic job. Next year some of the restaurants that were passed over will surely move up, and some of the over-rated places will move down. One star restaurants are certainly to be taken in the context of what they are trying to accomplish. There are no three star bistros but there are several one star restaurants under the impression they are serving three star food. All that said - what other restaurant guide has assembled a list half as accurate as this one?

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