Michelin 2011 Guide Released: Meadowood Rises to Three Stars, Chez Panisse Dissed

The wait is over, and the verdict is in: The big winner in the 2011 San Francisco Michelin Guide is Christopher Kostow at Meadowood, who rises to the echelon of three-star chefs with some of the greatest names in the business. Among local restaurants newly recognized with one star are Frances, Spruce, and Saison, none of which are particularly surprising (congrats, guys). However what is surprising are new stars received by Alexander’s Steakhouse (whose recent San Francisco opening would not have been eligible, so the star must be based on their South Bay location); and Campton Place, where executive chef Srijith Gopinathan has been blending French and Indian cuisines with very well-received results. Michelin also deals a blow to Alice Waters, allowing Chez Panisse to not so quietly drop off the list of one-star restaurants.

Quince retains its one star from last year, following their move downtown; Ubuntu retained their star, too, despite this year’s chef shuffle. Range loses its star. And Michael Mina, predictably, drops off the list completely following a demotion from two stars to one last year and the subsequent closing and reopening of his restaurant. Also, Chez TJ owner George Aviet must be pissed that his chef shuffle in January, replacing former chef Bruno Chemel with Scott Nishiyama, did not regain him the second star he had while Kostow worked there. Meanwhile, Chemel earned himself a star for his molecular-leaning solo effort, Baumé.

See the full list below. In total, 39 restaurants earn a single star this year. We can just hear the tap-tapping of fingers on keys as several hundred press releases are composed and launched across the wires.

Update: Chez Panisse responds…

*** Three Stars: (exceptional cuisine, “worth a special journey”)
French Laundry
The Restaurant at Meadowood

** Two Stars: (excellent cuisine, “worth a detour”)

* One Star: (very good cuisine in its category – italics indicates a new addition to the list)
Alexander’s Steakhouse
Applewood (Guerneville)
Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford)
Baumé (Palo Alto)
Bouchon (Yountville)
Campton Place
Chez TJ
The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton
Dio Deka (Los Gatos)
étoile (Yountville)
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant (Forestville)
Fleur de Lys
Gary Danko
La Folie
La Toque (Napa)
Madera (Menlo Park)
Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)
Mirepoix (Windsor)
Murray Circle (Sausalito)
One Market
Plumed Horse (San Jose)
Redd (Yountville)
Santé (Sonoma)
Solbar (Calistoga)
Terra (St. Helena)
Ubuntu (Napa)
The Village Pub (Woodside)
Wakuriya (San Mateo)

Buy the 2011 San Francisco Michelin Guide here

Earlier: Café Des Amis, Sons & Daughters Among Michelin’s 2011 Bib Gourmand Picks [Grub Street]
Chris Cosentino Thinks He Caught the Michelin Inspector [Grub Street]
BREAKING: Local Michelin Inspector Is Ugly [Grub Street]

Michelin 2011 Guide Released: Meadowood Rises to Three Stars, Chez Panisse