Restaurant Michael Mina lost one of its two Michelin stars this year because of a lack of consistency, Michelin director Jean-Luc Naret told Grub Street on the phone today. "Michael Mina lost his focus on this particular restaurant, and we saw it was not as consistent as it used to be to keep the star, so we took it off," he said. "In this particular restaurant I think his presence would be more necessary to keep the consistency." Inspectors visited the restaurant six times and Naret, who is not an inspector himself, visited once. "I definitely concur with the decision," he said.
When Michelin’s 2010 Bay Area and Wine Country Restaurants guide goes on sale tomorrow, the French Laundry will once again be the only three-star restaurant in California. And while 110 new listings (including 10 new one-stars) have fattened the now 451-strong guide, the number at the top has shrunk, with Aqua losing both of its stars as well as Mina losing one. Aqua lost its stars because of the departure of chef Laurent Manrique, Naret said. Bistro Jeanty and Martini House both lost their only star. Michelin employs five inspectors in San Francisco, all of whom are sworn to such secrecy they often don’t tell their family what they’re doing, Naret said. "It’s a bit like the witness protection program but the food is better." Check below for the full list of starred restaurants, with new additions in italics.
The Restaurant at Meadowood
Auberge du Soleil
The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton
El Paseo (closed)
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Fleur de Lys
The Village Pub
Earlier: Michelin Adds 18 Bib Gourmand Picks to SF Guide [Grub Street SF]