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SF Michelin Stars 2012

The full list isn't out for another couple of hours, but congrats to Chef David Kinch and his chef de cuisine, John Paul Carmona, for garnering their 3rd Michelin star. Unfortunately I have yet to dine at Manresa (probably my top to-go place that I haven't been to yet in the US), but have had the pleasure of their cooking in a pop-up in NYC this past May. Got to briefly meet them and they seemed like truly caring and dedicated chefs.

It's a no-brainer, but TFL maintains their 3*, where I had the best meal of my life in the extended tasting menu last year. I also look forward to eating at Benu and Saison (elevated to 2*) in my next trip to SF Bay area.

** Edit: Manresa maintains their 2*. Chef Keller must have gotten some false information when he tweeted congrats.

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  1. Sorry, I'm seeing conflicting reports for Manresa between 2 and 3 stars. Weird.

    1 Reply
    1. re: deepfry7

      Curious - is this a slap in the face of Manresa to not attain a Third Star and remain at Two?

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      Manresa Restaurant
      320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

    2. Chef Crenn has announced that Atelier Crenn has received one Michelin star.

      EDIT: And Josh Skenes reports that Saison has been promoted to two stars.

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      Saison
      2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      Atelier Crenn
      3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

      1. Manresa has retained 2 stars, direct from Kinch himself. I am going to believe him.

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        Manresa Restaurant
        320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

          1. interesting development that Baume got the second star before Chez TJ. Chef Chemel left Chez TJ when the owner wrote him off for getting the second star. Maybe that's what drove Chemel.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ckshen

              I thought Baume was closing - is a two star really going to close?

              And, more importantly, did Madera at the Rosewood lose their star? That was the most disappointing meal in recent history.

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              Madera
              2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

              1. re: bbulkow

                where did you hear that they are closing?

                1. re: ckshen

                  I thought I saw the rumor here. I guess it's not true.

                  Madera has kept its star. My respect for Michelin goes down. I like so much of what they do, but that's all about the room and experience and not about the food.

            2. I thought Costanera was angling for a Michelin star. The place felt weirdly overstaffed.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Yeah but do the apprentices cut bread for 2 years before their allowed to scrap bread crumbs off your table?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  is the food there significantly different (better) than piqueo's? i think piqueo's is one of the better peruvian restaurants in SF, but certainly not michelin quality....

                  1. re: vulber

                    No, the food there is good, but not as good as Piqueo's and a little more expensive (but the view is considerably better).

                    I don't think Michelin is why Costanera is overstaffed.

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                    Piqueo's
                    830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. re: Windy

                      true - but the michelin guide in theory is only supposed to be about the food - that being said, while it does seem like they often take service into account, i've rarely seen them take view into account....

                      1. re: vulber

                        Officially the stars are only about what's on the plate, and decor and service affect only the knife-and-fork ratings, but having looked at the list for a few years, I can't believe that. Based on the following criteria, the food at Plum (Bib Gourmand) doesn't rank as high as Frances or One Market (one star each)?

                        · The quality of ingredients
                        · The skill in their preparation and the combination of flavours
                        · The level of creativity
                        · The value for money
                        · The consistency of culinary standards

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    well if it was the strategy, it appears to have been a good one?

                  3. Is there a Michelin style of food? "Certainly not in North America. When you look in San Francisco, you see Aziza and Atelier Crenn and Saison and La Costanera, so you really have everything across the gamut."

                    Yeah, right, the gamut from French-influenced fussy Cal-Moroccan to fussy Cal-French modernism to fussy Cal-French minimalism to French-influenced fussy Cal-Peruvian.

                    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Yes Monsieur, tonight we have peche a la frog, or frog a la peche.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Michelin is more impressed by cooking than by shopping. Thus, places like Chez Panisse and Camino are never going to get any Michelin cred.

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                        Chez Panisse
                        1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                        1. re: Paul H

                          so then are you saying that chez panisse stopped cooking last year?

                          1. re: Paul H

                            As I noted above, Frances and One Market got stars but Plum got only a Bib Gourmand.

                            Chez Panisse had a star and lost it due to inconsistency.

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                            Chez Panisse
                            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                            One Market Restaurant
                            1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

                            1. re: Paul H

                              Camino was also Bib Gourmand, but lost it for 2012