CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Monday, October 02, 2006

Oy Vey, Michelin!

The title of this post is brought to you courtesy of Yom Kippur.

So I just got the list of which restaurants received Michelin stars here in the bay area.

All I can say is: What the fuck?

I have been waiting for this announcement with the anticipation of a virgin on prom night. Sadly, like the aforementioned, I have ended up with nothing but the disappointing knowledge that the real thing can never live up to the fantasy.

Range, an excellent restaurant, is totally worthy of it's one star, but why then why no Delfina? Why no Zuni? And how do you put Range and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton in the same category? The Ritz should have two at least, in my opinion. They are making some bad ass yums over there. And Bushi-tei? Really? Because I just don't see it, folks.

Don't even get me started on Michael Mina's two stars. I just about puked on my keyboard reading that shit.

Cyrus, Manresa, French Laundry -- nailed it (although the first two could have three stars if you ask me). Otherwise, I'm scratching my head.

Of the starred restaurants, there are 5 I have not been to, so I can't vouch for their worthiness. Still, I can't help but feel like Michelin really screwed the pooch here.

Here's the list:





Fleur de Lys

San Francisco


San Francisco


San Francisco


San Francisco


San Francisco


San Francisco

La Folie

San Francisco


San Francisco

Ritz-Carlton Dining Room

San Francisco

Gary Danko

San Francisco


San Francisco

Fifth Floor

San Francisco

Chez Panisse




Chez TJ

Mountain View

Auberge du Soleil


Bistro Jeanty




La Toque



St. Helena

Dry Creek Kitchen


Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant


K & L Bistro






San Francisco

Michael Mina

San Francisco


Los Gatos






The French Laundry


What do YOU think?


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think making such a fuss over someone else's preference of taste and chastising them over not agreeing with you makes you seem obnoxious and pretentious.
Hmmm, who should I listen to? Michelen or someone with an internet connection?
Why can't this place Range (never heard of it) be just as good as The Dining Room? Because The Dining Room is more expensive?

10/02/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Yo Yo,

Hmmm..."making a fuss over someone else's preference of taste and chastising them over not agreeing with you"...isn't that what you've just done with your comment?

And it's blog, for fuck's sake. Take it with a grain of salt. The whole goddamn point is that it gets to be *my* OPINION. I never said anyone had to agree with me. I cannot tell you how sick I am of anonymous posters getting on their high horse while hiding behind pussy alter egos.

Range is an excellent restaurant (which I think I mentioned), it's just not in the same class as the Dining Room. Why don't you go to both of them and tell me what you think?

And why should you listen to me over Michelin (note the spelling on that)? You shouldn't. You should form your own goddamn opinion on your own instead of asking the computer or a book to do it for you.


10/02/2006 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am shocked (and, frankly, horrified) that Delfina did not make it to the list.

how is this possible??

and, btw, your opinions are why I read your blog. :)

10/02/2006 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Yo, you can listen to whomever you please, but I still think that the discussion is interesting, and the good thing about this post is that it promotes discussion. And Michelin's system, just like any rating system, has its problems and biases. Just as we shouldn't take Michael Bauer's reviews as a holy text, so too, there's no reason why reasonable people can't agree or disagree with the Michelin ratings. My guess is that when Joy wrote this post, she considered more than just the Dining Room's price.

Actually, given Michelin biases in general, I'm surprised the Ritz ended up with only one star. Definitely, Ritz and Bushi-tei don't belong at the same ranking, and quite frankly, I don't really think Bushi-tei should be here at all.

I think Chez Panisse deserved a higher score. I had a similar reaction to yours about Michael Mina, though I have to say, it was less extreme. Nothing near puking, but my eyes did widen quite a bit :)

10/02/2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger NS said...

The ratings are absurd on many levels, but none more so than putting Michael Mina and Aqua at 2-stars and relegating The Dining Room and Masa's to 1-star. That, in my book, blows the credibility of the entire Guide...

10/02/2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those that would like to bitch out loud or just kick Jean-Luc Naret in the groin, he'll be at a number of book-signing-type events in the bay area this week:

My guess is that the parsimonious doling out of stars is more akin to the way it's done in Europe, as I do remember quite a few people complaining that New York's guide was way to generous. Nonetheless, that doesn't explain things like Aqua over the Dining Room.

10/02/2006 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference between two stars and three is clearly service and ambiance, though Michelin denies this. That said, French Laundry is easily the best restaurant in the greater Bay Area, and probably the U.S. (I would go further and say that it is in the contention for 'best on the planet, but my husband questions this.)

10/03/2006 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing... when I ate at Michael Mina a couple of years ago, I was blown away. 2 stars seems entirely appropriate for the experience I had there, and I got the feeling of a restaurant that's trying for three. (The crowded dining room will keep them at 2.)

Yet I get the feeling that others here didn't enjoy their visits as much as Dan and I did. Odd.

10/03/2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gahhh. Please ignore my last comment. I was confused. My wonderful meal was at Gary Danko, not Michael Minna. I have no experience with Michael Minna at all.

10/03/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Dibital Nation said...

whatever we all think about who got screwed and the loopiness of it all, i think that there's one great thing about michelin coming to town: now michael bauer has competition and the supremacy of his own screwy ratings now face a formidable challenge. in this case i think that the answer to one screwy ratings system might be another.

10/03/2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have eaten at none of these places.
This makes me cry.
At least we have The Kitchen, Lucca, and The Park Downtown in Sac.

Though they aren't Zuni, Cyrus, or TFL.

10/04/2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

It seems all too obvious that they love the French stuff mostly. It's where they're from, so it makes sense.

I'm happy for the restaurants-- if we were in a place like NY where many a magazine gives press to ALL of their restaurants all of the time, then great. But we're not-- we live in a city whose restaurants live on the very little press they get doled out, and loyalty.

10/05/2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may sound dumb but what is Yom Kippur? Is that your restaurant or something? Why is it courtesy of them? Always willing to learn. Obviously, I'm out of your inner circle, if that's some kind of inside joke or something.

10/05/2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger Joy said...


I'm going to assume you are genuine in asking this question, so...It is a high holy day in the Jewish faith where you fast in order to reflect and atone.


10/06/2006 6:11 AM  
Blogger Cellar Door said...

this is a very curious article. seems they have their heads up their proverbial asses.

10/07/2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger Owen said...

wow - all this holier than thou slapping around of Joy!

For my money she's spot on in her criticisms - for the few restaurants that I know about she is spot on.

I also noticed a distinct preference for the Napa valley region.

Completely agree about Bushi-tei - I could name a good three or four spots that do better IMHO on Japanese and that leads into my criticism of the whole thing. The Michelin guides are more and more inaccurate the further they stray from haute French cuisine.

10/10/2006 11:11 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home