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Restaurants from Healdsburg to Palo Alto earned new stars in the San Francisco Bay Area’s 2019 Michelin Guide.
Chef Dominique Crenn is officially the first woman to head a three-star restaurant in the United States.
Fifty-seven restaurants earned Michelin stars across the San Francisco Bay Area and nearby wine country in the recently released Michelin Guide San Francisco 2019. Of those restaurants, seven establishments achieved star status for the first time or had their stars elevated in the new guide.
This year, not just one, but two Bay Area restaurants were elevated to three-star status, including Healdsburg’s SingleThread and San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn. While SingleThread made the jump from two to three stars in just one year, Atelier Crenn’s journey to three Michelin stars has taken much longer.
Chef Dominique Crenn opened her innovative French restaurant on Fillmore Street in 2011 and earned her first star in the 2012 guide and second in the 2013 guide. Crenn is now officially the first woman chef to head up a three-star restaurant in the United States. The decorated chef was also named the Best Chef in the West by the James Beard Foundation in 2018. Her more casual wine bar, Bar Crenn, which opened in March 2018 next door to Atelier Crenn, also earned its first star this year.
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In addition to Bar Crenn, the four other restaurants to earn their first star in this year’s guide are also all relatively new to the Bay Area scene. Chef Chris Bleidorn, an alumnus of Atelier Crenn, opened Birdsong on Mission Street in May 2018 with a focus on Pacific Northwest cuisine using wild game, shellfish, berries, and mushrooms from small ranches, farms, and fisheries. Chef Ron Siegel opened Madcap in Marin County in 2017, and Palo Alto’s Protégé lived up to its hype, earning a star in the new guide just months after two French Laundry veterans—chef Anthony Secviar and master sommelier Dennis Kelly—opened it in March 2018.
The one exception to the list of new one-star restaurants is San Francisco’s Nico. Chef Nicolas Delaroque and his wife Andrea Delaroque lost their star when they closed the modern French restaurant in its original Laurel Heights space in 2017. But after reopening in Jackson Square in spring 2018 with the same quality of food, they’ve earned the star back.
However, after gaining a third star in the 2018 guide, San Francisco’s Coi was demoted back to two-star status in the 2019 guide after chef Matthew Kirkley left and chef Erik Anderson moved the restaurant’s focus away from seafood. Even though Coi lost a star, the addition of Atelier Crenn and SingleThread means that the Bay Area now has eight three-starred restaurants—including Benu, The French Laundry, Manresa, Quince, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Saison—making it the U.S. Michelin guide with the most three-star restaurants.
Here are all seven restaurants that earned new stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide to San Francisco. Make your reservations now.
* Elevated from two-star status
AFAR participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase an item featured in this story. All products and services listed here are independently selected by AFAR journalists.
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