Saison Loses a Michelin Star, in 2019’s Statewide Rankings

Campton Place gets a second star, but otherwise very little changed in this second guide of the calendar year.

Maine lobster with heirloom kale, mint, black rice and coastal curry, at Campton Place. (Peter Lawrence Kane)

For the second time this year, the Michelin Guide has released its star rankings for restaurants in San Francisco and in Wine Country — this time, as part of a combined statewide guide. A ceremony held in Huntington Beach last evening didn’t shake things up too much, apart from one notable exception. Saison, which chef Joshua Skenes founded in the Mission a decade ago before relocating to SoMa, has been downgraded from three stars to two under the helm of Laurent Gras. 

Saison has seen other changes, including the introduction of a $150 bar menu, and it will undergo a renovation later this summer, although details are slim. Before passing Saison to Gras, Skenes also opened Angler last fall, an outdoorsy spinoff that also won (and subsequently retained) a Michelin star.

A loss of a star in this circumstance is not atypical, as in the first, S.F.-specific 2019 guide, Coi also went from three to two stars after chef Erik Anderson took over for Brandon Kirkley. Looked at another way, though, Gras and Anderson each earned two stars in their own right.

This development leaves the greater Bay Area with seven three-star restaurants: The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood, SingleThreadManresa, Benu, Quince, and Atelier Crenn, of which the latter three are in S.F. proper. No new ones were added, and, in spite of the refocus on the entire Golden State, Los Angeles has yet to see one three-star restaurant. However, L.A. got six new two-star restaurants and an impressive 18 one-star newbies. So the guide is broadening out. And, as Eater noted, the state itself had a role in this, as Visit California, the official tourism bureau, shelled out some $600,000 to entice Michelin’s anonymous diners to trek a bit further afield. All the same, the Bay Area and L.A. remain the twin nuclei of fine dining in the state.

Apart from Saison and Coi, the ranks of Bay Area two-star spots welcomed Campton Place, Srijith Gopinathan’s contemporary Indian restaurant opposite Union Square. (The other five are AcquerelloBaumé, CaliforniosCommis, and Lazy Bear.) There was almost no change at the one-star level even though there arguably should have been — Aster is still listed in spite of having closed in April.

Michelin’s Bib Gourmand component, conferring recognition on restaurants that give diners a quality, value-driven meal, was released last week.

See the full statewide list here, and the Bay Area list below.

 

Three Stars

Atelier Crenn
Benu
The French Laundry (Yountville)
The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena)
Manresa (Los Gatos)
Quince
Single Thread (Healdsburg)

Two Stars

Acquerello
Baumé (Palo Alto)
Californios
Campton Place
Coi
Commis (Oakland)
Lazy Bear
Saison

One Star

AL’s Place
Angler
Auberge de Soleil (Rutherford)
Aubergine (Carmel)
Bar Crenn
Bird Song
Bouchon (Yountville)
Chez TJ (Mountain View)
Commonwealth
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant (Forestville)
Gary Danko
Harbor House (Mendocino)
Hashiri
In Situ
Ju-ni
Keiko a Nob Hill
Kenzo (Napa)
Kin Khao
The Kitchen (Sacramento)
La Toque (Napa)
Lord Stanley
Luce
Madcap (San Anselmo)
Madera (Menlo Park)
Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)
Maum (Palo Alto)
Michael Mina
Mister Jiu’s
Mourad
Nico
Octavia
Omakase
The Plumed Horse (Saratoga)
The Progress
Protege
Rich Table
Rasa (Burlingame)
Sons & Daughters
Sorrel
Spruce
State Bird Provisions
SPQR
Sushi Yoshizumi (San Mateo)
The Village Pub (Woodside)
Wako
Wakuriya (San Mateo)

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