The 2015 Michelin Guide to restaurants made superstars of two more San Francisco fine-dining establishments, elevating Saison and Benu to three stars.
The Bay Area and Wine Country now have four restaurants with three stars: The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Saison and Benu. Only approximately 100 restaurants worldwide hold three stars, and the designation is significant for chefs, who can use it to pack tables and boost their reputations in the often cut-throat fine dining world.
Michelin cited Chef Corey Lee‘s “incredibly precise culinary technique…. Corey applies a combination of classic French technique along with American, various Asian and noticeable Korean flavors to produce truly unique culinary creations.”
Saison’s Chef Joshua Skenes was praised for offering “seafood of stunning quality with a clear respect for Japanese cuisine, combined with a mastery of the northern California culinary philosophy”
Saison recently set the table for a $495 private dinner with Skenes and wine director Mark Bright. The restaurant’s regular tasting menu comes in at $248 and beverage pairings are an additional $248. Saison’s most expensive menu — the “discovery menu” is $646 with wine pairings. Now, those prices may be easier to justify, with the additional star.
But Skenes is not just content to go high-brow, he’s also targeting fast casual eaters, withthe announcement that he is opening Fat Noodle at Second and Mission Streets.
Benu’s Lee has also been ambitious and in expansion mode lately. French Laundry alumLee recently opened French eatery Monsieur Benjamin in Hayes Valley, which has seen strong reviews.
In addition to Benu and Saison winning accolades, the Bay Area restaurants with two stars are Acquerello, Atelier Crenn, Coi and Quince in San Francisco, Baume in Palo Alto and Manresa in Los Altos, which is temporarily closed after a fire in July.
According to Eater SF, “Acquerello was the only new entrant to the two-star category, and that upgrade makes chef Suzette Gresham America’s third female chef with two Michelin stars; no woman in the U.S. holds three stars as of yet.”
The one-star list, which includes stalwarts Spruce, SPQR, State Bird Provisions, La Folie, Aziza and many, many others, saw two newcomers: Kusakabe and Maruya, according to Michelin.
The Bay Area and Wine Country Michelin Guide goes on sale tomorrow.