October 25, 2016 / 7:12 PM / a year ago

Michelin hands stars to 54 San Francisco restaurants

(Reuters) - Michelin awarded stars to 54 San Francisco-area restaurants in the 2017 edition of its eating guide on the City by the Bay that will be launched on Wednesday.

Michelin, whose anonymous reviewers rate restaurants in 28 countries and whose stars are a recognized sign of quality dining around the world, awarded 50 eateries with stars in the prior year’s guide.

“We just see the San Francisco Bay area continuing to become an even more exciting dining destination,” said Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guide, on Tuesday. “You have a lot of chefs using fantastic local ingredients and using cooking techniques from all over the world, especially Asian influences.”

Michelin also rates U.S. restaurants in Washington, Chicago and New York City.

Quince became the sixth restaurant in the northern California region to achieve three-star status, Michelin’s highest rating for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

Quince’s co-owner and executive chef Michael Tusk is “doing tremendously refined, technically precise food with roots in Italy and also with great international flair,” Ellis said.

The other three-star establishments were Benu and Saison in San Francisco, the French Laundry and the Restaurant at Meadowood in the wine-producing Napa Valley and Manresa in Los Gatos which is south of San Francisco.

There are more than 100 restaurants in the world with the three-star distinction.

Three-star dining does not come cheap.

The French Laundry’s current $310 chef’s tasting menu more than doubles in price with the additions of optional caviar, foie gras, truffles and wagyu beef, according to its website.

While its top-rated restaurants are expensive, Ellis said most restaurants Michelin reviews are wallet friendly.

“Most of what we do is geared toward moderately priced restaurants,” he said.

It listed 75 “Bib Gourmand” restaurants that serve top-notch food at affordable prices in its latest guide, up from 74 last year.

Meanwhile, Lazy Bear, cited for its “sophisticated, often experimental cooking style using supremely high quality ingredients,” gained a star, entering into Michelin’s two-star category for “excellent cuisine, worth a detour.”

It joined Acquerello, Atelier Crenn, Baumé, Campton Place, Coi and Commis.

Forty-one area restaurants achieved one star from Michelin for being “a very good restaurant in its category,” three more than a year ago.

Michelin recognized several Asian restaurants, Hashiri, ju-ni, Mister Jiu’s and Mosu, for the first time with one star. Other one-star debuts included Adega, Madera and The Progress.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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