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Terrapin Creek among 47 starred Bay Area, Wine Country restaurants

The 2012 Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country on Tuesday announced its 2012 "starred" restaurants for the Bay Area, tapping 47 restaurants with top honors -- the most ever.

Long considered among the most prestigious accolades in chefdom, the European dining guides began giving their hard-won stars to U.S. restaurants six years ago, awarding 39 in 2011 and 36 in 2010. The stars are based on the reviews of its "famously anonymous" reviewers who are notoriously discreet and difficult for chefs to identify.

But despite the breathless anticipation in kitchens throughout Northern California, there were few surprises in Wine Country. For 2012, all but one of the 2011 winners maintained their Michelin status. The only newcomer was Bodega Bay's Terrapin Creek where chef/owners Liya Lin and Andrew Truong received their first Michelin star.

Michelin Starred Restaurants 2012

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Receiving the highest Michelin honor of three stars were The Restaurant at Meadowood, led by Executive Chef Christopher Kostow, and The French Laundry, headed by Thomas Keller.

Kostow Tweeted the news to his followers minutes before the Michelin Guide officially broke the news: "Congrats to all the Restaurants earning stars in this years @MichelinGuideSF. My staff and I are honored to be in such esteemed company."

Both restaurants received three stars in previously. Worldwide, fewer than 100 restaurants have earned a three-star rating.

Healdsburg's Cyrus Restaurant received two stars for 2012, it's sixth year for the honor. "For the last five years I've been sitting by the phone like a guy waiting for an invitation to a Sadie Hawkins dance. This year we took the dogs for a walk, and when I got back I saw the missed call," chef/owner Douglas Keane said Tuesday afternoon after receiving a second call from Michelin to congratulate him.

After five wins, Keane said he's taking the whole thing in stride. "Last year, for weeks before I was on pins and needles, but last night it only got to me for a moment. I woke up at 4 a.m., but that was it," he said.

"It's great for morale, and for something to keep striving for as long as you don't focus on it.

"They've put us on a national level," Keane said.


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