Monday, October 22, 2007

Watching the Watchmen: Michelin Stars

Now that the Michelin ratings for Northern California are out, we'd thought it be fun to look back and see how much we agree with them. Even though both of our scales are similar (going to 3), ours is a bit different. We would put our 3's at the same level, but our 2 is more like their 1 Star, so we'll have to play it by ear. We, sadly, also don't have the funds to go to these restaurants every year, so we'll just use the last time we went.

Immediately what jumped out at us were that Coi and The Dining Room at Ritz-Carlton, which are the only 3's we gave out in North California (quick aside, French Laundry is definitely a 3, we just haven't been there in the life of this blog) were given only 1 star. Quite simply, Ron Siegel's Dining Room is our favorite tasting menu in the city, we would go there every day if we could. Daniel Patterson, on the other hand, just stunned us with his inventive and bold dishes.

Aqua, Manresa, Michael Mina (also our recent catering post) all scored 2 Food from us and 2 Stars from Michelin. Aqua is probably a weaker '2' then the rest of them, and I would say it's inexplicable that they are rated ahead Gary Danko's (and the 2 listed above), but you really can't go wrong with any of these. Incidentally, we had our the best meal of our lives (pre-blog) at Michael Mina, when they had their truffle menu, but our last visit was not as mind-blowing.

For Ame, Range, Cortez, Rubicon we pretty much agreed with Michelin scoring them a 1 star (we have them down as 2 Food), while we thought they overrated One Market and Quince. (We gave them a 1 Food).

We also thought they missed some real great restaurants in A16, Bong Su, Fringale, Spruce (maybe too new), Jeanty at Jack's (though their sister location Bistro Jeanty is a Michelin 1 star), Plumpjack Cafe (NB: Both our visits were during James Syhabout's short stint as Executive Chef), Ad Hoc and Lark Creek Steak.

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