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San Francisco’s Quince Awarded Two Michelin Stars

The French Laundry
Thomas Keller, chef at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California. The restaurant retained its three Michelin stars, the guide's highest ranking. Source: Thomas Keller Restaurant Group via Bloomberg

Quince, a French- and Italian-inspired restaurant in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood, received a second star from Michelin today, the red guide’s second-highest ranking.

That award gives the Bay Area the country’s highest number of two-Michelin-starred restaurants, beating out New York and Chicago. Other local members of the two-star category -- Atelier Crenn, Baume, Benu, Coi, Manresa and Saison -- kept their honors.

Like them, Quince is primarily a set-menu establishment, with tastings running $118-$158 in the dining room, or $90 in the salon.

State Bird Provisions was elevated to one-star status, the only new entrant to that category. The Fillmore Street spot is “arguably the hottest restaurant in San Francisco (if not the country),” Paolo Lucchesi, a prominent Bay Area culinary journalist, wrote recently.

That venue, which puts out a series of eclectic plates (and pancakes) by married chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, reopened on Friday following an expansion of the dining room. Much of the restaurant is reserved for walk-ins.

Brioza and Krasinski “continue to hit the ball out of the park,” said Michael Ellis, international director of the guides. “We, like everyone else, had a hard time getting in there, but we were able to visit several times.”

Honors Kept

There were no new entrants to the three-star category; Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and Christopher Kostow’s The Restaurant at Meadowood both retained that prized status.

Ellis said he sees the potential for “one or more” new three-star restaurants next year, with all of the current two star selections as possible candidates for Michelin’s highest ranking one day.

“The San Francisco Bay Area remains one of the most dynamic and exciting culinary scenes, not only in the United States but in the world,” he said.

Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey; two stars are for excellent cooking, worth a detour; one star denotes a very good restaurant in its category.

Michelin & Cie is Europe’s largest tiremaker. It produced its first guide in August 1900, distributed free (until 1920) and intended for chauffeurs.

The Michelin Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country goes on sale on Wednesday for $18.99.

The San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country restaurants awarded
stars are:

Three Stars:
The French Laundry
The Restaurant at Meadowood

Two Stars:
Atelier Crenn

One Star:
All Spice
Auberge du Soleil
Campton Place
Chez TJ
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Gary Danko
Keiko a Nob Hill
La Folie
La Toque
Madrona Manor
Michael Mina
Plumed Horse
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions
Terrapin Creek
The Village Pub

(Ryan Sutton writes about New York City restaurants for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.)

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and Daniel Akst on books.

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