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French Laundry, Cyrus, Meadowood top new 2010 Michelin Guide

In its fourth year of rating the restaurants of the San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country, the 2010 Michelin Guide has expanded its recognition of affordable restaurants and cut back slightly on its starred ratings.

Once again, the French Laundry of Yountville was chosen as the sole three-star restaurant in the entire Bay Area.

Meanwhile the number of two-star restaurants dropped from six to four. Those who maintained two stars include Cyrus in Healdsburg, The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Coi in San Francisco and Manresa in Los Gatos. Aqua in San Francisco lost both of its stars and Michael Mina in San Francisco was demoted to one star.

The list of one-star restaurants expanded from 25 to 34 this year. One-star restaurants in Wine Country include: Auberge de Soleil in Rutherford, Bouchon in Yountville, Etoile in Yountville, the Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville, La Toque in Napa, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Redd in Yountville, Sant?at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, Solbar at Solage Calistoga Resort in Calistoga, Terra in St. Helena and Ubuntu in Napa.

Wine Country restaurants which lost their one-star status include Bistro Jeanty in Yountville and the Martini House in St. Helena. Those who gained a star (or in the case of La Toque, gained it back) include Etoile, La Toque, Sant? Solbar and Ubuntu.

This year, the Bib Gourmand category jumped from 55 to 62 restaurants. The Bib Gourmand award is given to affordable dining establishments that offer two dishes and a glass of wine for $40 or less. For a complete selection of Bib Gourmand restaurants, go to famouslyanonymous.com.

?During the current recession, value for money is more important than ever, which largely explains the great success of Bib Gourmand restaurants among the Michelin Guide?s readers,? said Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides.

Finally, restaurants honored for offering a delicious meal under $25 jumped from 56 to 89 this year, also reflecting the currently economic climate and resulting dining habits.

The Michelin Guide to San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country goes on sale Tuesday, Oct. 20, for $17.99.

Three Michelin stars means exceptional cusine, worth a special journey; two Michelin stars means excellent cuisine, worth a detour; and one Michelin star means a very good restaurant in its category.


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