See the stars: the restaurants of the peninsula shine in the 2021 Michelin Guide | Foodist of the peninsula | The foodist of the peninsula

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By Sara Hayden

As a food writer, I feel like I have to cover the Michelin Guide, a long-standing publication that notes culinary experiences, from a French tire company. And I have to admit, I’ve been wondering why I’m feeling this pressure, and if I’m covering the guide, how much to do it.

I am puzzled as more and more media abandon their own rating systems, but also continue to devote a good deal of coverage to this one in particular. In the United States, Google searches for “Michelin Guide” exceed searches for other travel and food guides, so there seems to be at least some curiosity about it nationwide, and especially in California and New York.

At Selby’s, Chef Mark Sullivan is preparing a Black Label Burger on November 18, 2019. The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2021. (Photo by Sammy Dallal)

For my part, much of my thinking boils down to these questions: Is this coverage of interest to our million or so readers across our large community? Does it serve the Peninsula? When bandwidth is limited, does this distinction guarantee one coverage over another? Is it more remarkable than a restaurant that simply survives?

I did not dwell on the answers to all of these questions. And I’m curious to know what you think – as readers, as people who work in the industry, as guests – what does the Michelin Guide mean to you? Dear reader, let me know: [email protected]

Local stars
In any case, I would like to congratulate the restaurants and the teams behind them who received Michelin recognition this year, obtained under difficult circumstances which included the COVID-19 safety measures, the physical and mental health needs for them. themselves and their relatives, personnel problems and rising costs.

Out of more than 500 listed, the Michelin Guide has included dozens of restaurants on the peninsula and its surroundings in its California Edition 2021, the first since 2019 after him take a break in 2020.


Black Label burger and fries from Selby’s restaurant. The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2021. (Photo by Sammy Dallal)

The list includes extraordinary local restaurants, categorized by symbols, such as stars and plates, which indicate, for example, whether a restaurant is “worth stopping by”, the quality of the cuisine and the “comfort” of a restaurant. restaurant.

One of the newcomers to the list was Sushi Shin in Redwood City. This year, the restaurant’s second since it opened, it has been awarded a star. However, chef Jason Zhan is not new to this recognition. Zhan trained in his craft under Hideo Kuribara at Ushiwakamaru in New York City, who received a Michelin star while Zhan was there.

Now in his own Michelin-starred restaurant, where Zhan gets to work at 8:30 a.m. and leaves at midnight as he cooks 20- to 22-course meals with a small staff including his wife, dishwasher and part-time assistant . , Zhan says, “I don’t just work to earn a star or get a good review from Yelp, so that (doesn’t) really change anything for me – it’s always the same, every day.”

Zhan pauses and laughs, “I think, ‘Just, oh! – a star?’ Because I’ve been working for 20 years, ”Zhan says. “But it’s good. It’s the second year and we have one star. I hope we can improve and get two stars, three stars in the future. It means to me that I work hard and that the people like it, so (I will have) more energy to make and create more unique dishes for people to enjoy.


“I need to develop the business. Baumé chef Bruno Chemel maintained two Michelin stars in his restaurant from 2011. He has since requested that Baumé be removed from the Michelin Guide lists so that he can focus on developing a new concept. (Photo by Veronica Weber)

A restaurant that retained two stars between 2011 and 2019 was withdrawn from the Michelin Guide at the request of the owner. You will no longer find Baumé in the proverbial pages of the guide.

“I care about my stars, it’s not that I don’t care,” says Bruno Chemel of the restaurant he runs with his wife, Christie Chemel. “But I reach a stage in my life, a stage in my business, where I need to develop the business… I need to pay the bills, I need to have my life, because to own a two Michelin star restaurant at COVID in Palo Alto is not easy.

Removing the restaurant from the guide now eases the pressure to adhere to what’s required of a Michelin-starred restaurant, Chemel says.

“For me, we’re just a mom and pop restaurant. It’s just me and my wife, ”says Chemel. “I’m just a cook and I want to please my guests. This is what is very important to me. I feel very happy. I don’t have any stress for the guidelines that I have to follow. I just follow what I want to do, and we see if it works.

Meanwhile, Manresa returned with three stars in Los Gatos.

The Bacchus Group has added another Michelin star to its portfolio with its new property in Atherton, Selby’s. The group’s San Francisco outpost, Spruce, also holds a Michelin star. And the Village Pub in Woodside has been awarded a Michelin Star for 12 consecutive years.

“Three restaurants, three stars… That means I have to open a fourth now, because I’m not competitive or anything,” founding partner and president Tim Stannard said in a joke with a grain of. truth.


“It’s like the Oscars, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl to us, all rolled into one.” Members of the Selby’s team, left to right: Chef Jason Pringle, Owner Tim Stannard, Pastry Chef Janina O’Leary and Chef and Partner Mark Sullivan. (Photo by Sinead Chang)

While the Bacchus Group has seen many stars, this year’s one has special significance. Selby’s opened in 2019, but then closed when the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders were announced in March 2020. After briefly reopening to offer take-out and delivery, they again moved on. closed in October. They remained completely closed for almost a year and just reopened last month.

The Selby team, all together when they heard the news of their Michelin recognition, skipped a magnum of champagne and shed tears.

“It’s like the Oscars, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl to us, all rolled into one,” Stannard said. “It means a lot to us, just from a business perspective. And more than that, it feels good – especially after the past 18 months – to see the hard work that everyone has put in … being recognized.

Michelin Guide rating system
Recognition of Michelin restaurants is awarded according to a rating system that includes icons and accompanying descriptions. I’m trying to figure out what they all mean.

The descriptions leave me wondering: what exactly is “comfortable”? Is there really a “simple restaurant”? Is “comfortable enough” more comfortable than “comfortable”? What is the “traditional style”? What is the “upper class”? (I do not know!)

Here is how Michelin distributes some of their ratings:
Stars
Represented by a star icon

– One: High quality cuisine, worth a visit
– Two: Excellent cuisine, worth the detour
– Three: Exceptional cuisine, deserves a special trip

Comfort and quality
Represented by a fork and spoon icon
– One: Quite comfortable (according to a Michelin Guide article; it is described as a “simple restaurant” according to some of their restaurant listings)
– Two: Comfortable
– Three: Very comfortable
– Four: high-end comfort
– Five: Luxury in the traditional style

Michelin Gourmand bib
Represented by an icon of Bibendum, the formal name of “Michelin Man”
– Good quality cuisine, good value for money

Michelin plate
Represented by an icon representing a plate, a fork and a knife
– Fresh ingredients, prepared with care: A good meal


Wonderful Hunan Cold Noodles in Millbrae. The restaurant was recognized by the Michelin Guide in 2021 with a Michelin plate. (Photo by Elena Kadvany)

Restaurants in the Peninsula Michelin Guide
Without further ado, here is the complete list of local restaurants included in the 2021 Michelin Guide:

Atherton
Selby’s: 1 Michelin star; 3 comfort and quality

Belmont
Chalizaar: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

Burling game
Rasa: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality
New England Lobster Restaurant: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality

Half moon bay
Moon pasta: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

Los Altos
Aurum: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

Menlo Park
Flea Street Cafe: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality
Madeira: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality
Camper: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

Millbrae
Tasty place: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality
Marvellous: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality
Hong Kong Flower Fair: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

mountain view
At TJ: 1 Michelin star; 3 comfort and quality
Doppio Zero Pizza Napoletana: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality

Palo Alto
Dog bird: Michelin plate; 3 comfort and quality
Ettan: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality
Evvia: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality
iTalico: Bib Gourmand Michelin; 2 comfort and quality
Protected: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality
Tamarind: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality
Vina Enoteca: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality
Zola: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

Redwood town
Seafood & Cocina La Viga: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality
Sushi Shin: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality
Warung siska: Michelin plate; 1 comfort and quality

Saint-Bruno
Gintei: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

San Carlos
– http://guide.michelin.com/us/en/california/us-san-carlos/restaurant/saffron-1196338: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality

San Mateo
Spice up: Michelin plate; 2 comfort and quality
Pause: Bib Gourmand Michelin; 2 comfort and quality
Sushi Yoshizumi: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality
Wakuriya: 1 Michelin star; 2 comfort and quality

Drink
Village pub: 1 Michelin star; 3 comfort and quality

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