Having delayed the announcement for two weeks out of deference to the less-than-celebratory mood in and around the region after the tragic wildfires, Michelin put out its list of 55 starred selections for the 2018 Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country.
The biggest news is that Matthew Kirkley’s Coi now has a third star, the highest rating — or, as the guide puts it, the “ultimate international recognition in the culinary world, with just over 100 restaurants currently holding this distinction globally.” (There are now seven Bay Area restaurants with three stars to their name, up from only two in 2014. The other six are Saison, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Benu, The French Laundry, Quince, and Manresa.)
Val Cantu’s three-year-old Mission restaurant Californios has gotten a second star — the first Mexican restaurant in the United States to earn that distinction — while Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s SingleThread in Healdsburg earned two right out of the starting gate, having opened only a few months ago. The join Acquerello, Lazy Bear, Baumé, Atelier Crenn, and Commis as the sixth and seventh Bay Area restaurants with two stars.
Atelier Crenn’s continued two-star status will no doubt strike some people as a bit of a snub, perhaps even a rather pointed one, considering Dominique Crenn’s reputation as both an outstanding chef and an outspoken critic of misogyny in the food scene. (There are an awful lot of restaurants run by men on the 2018 list.)
Meanwhile, Corey Lee’s SFMOMA temple to minimalism In Situ got its first star. (Because Lee also operates nearby Benu, he effectively has four overall.) Napa’s Kenzo and Hayes Valley’s Rich Table also got a star for the first time. Rich Table probably saw it coming, since it had vanished from Michelin’s list of Bib Gourmands when that roster of less-pricey-but-still-notable places came out earlier this month.
The only spot that dropped off the list was Mourad Lahlou’s Outer Richmond Moroccan restaurant Aziza, and that’s because it closed after a renovation went unexpectedly awry.