Michelin Guide Drops

The scoop on the latest Bay Area guide to the area's top culinary destination.



Well, the 2012 Michelin Guide, the Oscars of the Bay Area culinary scene, is finally out and there's not too much new to report as far as East Bay stars are concerned. James Syhabout's Commis in Oakland retained its one star (the rankings go up to three stars) while Alice Waters' Chez Panisse did not regain the star it surprisingly lost last year. As far as Bay Area-wide, the only three-starred restuarants remained The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood, which made the leap from two stars last year. There were three new two-starred spots in this year's guide: Baumé, Benu, and Saison, while Coi, Cyrus, and Manresa retained theirs from last year. Among the one-starred restaurants there was a bit of movement. New this year are Atelier Crenn, Michael Mina, and Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, Terrapin Creek in Bodega Bay, and, surprisingly, La Costanera, a Peruvian restaurant in Half Moon Bay. CLICK HERE for the full list.

While there were no new stars for the East Bay, the editor-in-chief of Michelin's North American guides (no name was given since she also anonymously reviews restaurants) told me that our little pocket of the East Bay was certainly on their radar and that she planned to visit at least two eateries in the coming year to judge whether they are star-worthy for next year's guide. Which ones? Well, that's top secret... "We're really like the CIA here, I haven't even told my husband," the Michelin editor laughed. More good culinary news for the region: the East Bay continues to rack up coverage in the prestigious French guide, including several Bib Gourmand selections (value-oriented restaurants where you can get two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less). East Bay restaurants accounted for 17 of the 77 Bib Gourmand selections, including East of the Caldecott spots such as Artisan Bistro, Chevalier, Laurus, and Thai House in addition to several Oakland and Berkeley restaurants.

CLICK HERE for the full list and official press release, and CLICK HERE to buy a copy.