Michelin Announces France's Best Restaurants

One restaurant loses its third star and five — including three in Paris — gain a second in the 2011 Michelin guide to France. A total of 601 win a Bib Gourmand for value, overtaking the 571 star holders for the first time.

The two-star winners are Passage 53, Jean-Francois Piege and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon-Etoile in Paris; Villa Archange, in Cannes/Le Cannet; and Thierry Drapeau Logis de la Chabotterie, in Saint-Sulpice-le-Verdon. Restaurant Michel Trama, in Puymirol, drops to two stars from three.

Four venues fall to one star from two: Le Bateau Ivre, Courchevel; Maison Bru, Eygalieres; La Bastide Saint-Antoine, Grasse; and Les Pyrenees, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Gordon Ramsay holds onto his two stars in Versailles and Helene Darroze fails to regain the second star in Paris that she lost last year.

"A sign of the times and an indicator of new culinary trends, the Bib Gourmand label indicates a restaurant offering a full meal for less than 35 euros ($48) in Paris and 29 euros outside the Paris area," Michelin said in an e-mailed release.

A total of 25 establishments now hold the maximum three stars; 76 hold two and 470 hold one, of which 46 are new. Six of these are in Paris: Le Baudelaire, Sensing, Les Ambassadeurs, Antoine, La Fourchette du Printemps and Frederic Simonin.

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.

Various criteria are used for stars: food quality, preparation and flavors; the chef's personality as revealed through the cuisine; value for money; and consistency over time and across the menu.

Michelin & Cie. is the world's second-biggest tiremaker, after Bridgestone Corp. The guides now cover 23 countries.

Here is a list of the three-star restaurants, with the location followed by the name:

Baerenthal / Untermuhlthal: L'Arnsbourg

Chagny: Maison Lameloise

Eugenie-les-Bains: Michel Guerard

Fontjoncouse: Auberge du Vieux Puits

Illhaeusern: Auberge de l'Ill

Joigny: La Cote St-Jacques

Laguiole: Bras

Lyon: Paul Bocuse

Marseille: Le Petit Nice

Monte-Carlo: Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse

Paris 1er: Le Meurice

Paris 4e: L'Ambroisie

Paris 7e: Arpege

Paris 8e: Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee

Paris 8e: Le Bristol

Paris 8e: Ledoyen

Paris 8e: Pierre Gagnaire

Paris 16e: Astrance

Paris 16e: Le Pre Catelan

Paris 17e: Guy Savoy

Roanne: Troisgros

Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid: Regis et Jacques Marcon

Saulieu: Le Relais Bernard Loiseau

Valence: Pic

Vonnas: Georges Blanc

The Michelin guides to France and Paris 2011 go on sale on March 3. Details of an offer on special-priced menus and results are scheduled to appear here on March 1: http://www.printempsduguidemichelin.fr

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.