Top restaurant picks in the Bay Area

October 13, 2008 4:20:22 PM PDT
Great restaurants and affordable prices -- we have them! Director of Michelin Guide, Jean-Luc Naret has Michelin's top restaurant picks for meals under $40.

The Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country 2009 features the Bib Gourmand category, which indicates Michelin inspectors' favorites for good value. This year's Bib Gourmands include 55 restaurants that serve a menu with two dishes and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less. The restaurants awarded this distinction can be identified by a red pictogram depicting the head of Bibendum®, the Michelin Man.

The MICHELIN guide San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country 2009 also includes 56 restaurants serving a meal (two dishes and a glass of wine or dessert) for $25 or less. In the selection, these establishments are indicated by the coins pictogram.

  • Burma Superstar (Bid Gourmand & Under $25)
    Website: www.burmasuperstar.com
    415.387.2147
    309 Clement St
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    Located among other ethnic eateries in Richmond, this Burmese restaurant stands out. Prices are low and better still most of the budget-friendly dishes are big enough for two. Since Burma shares borders with India, China and Thailand, you'll taste the influences of those countries in their fresh, flavorful cuisine.

    Menu items:

    Burmese Samusas (with chicken or vegetarian 5 pieces) - Burmese raviolis filled with curry spices and potatoes $9.25

    Citrus Chicken with Peanut Sauce - Wok roasted chicken over a bed of fresh watercrest, with a peanut, dried shrimp sauce, topped with peanuts $11.75

    Platha - Indian influenced pan fried layered bread

  • Market (Bid Gourmand & Under $25)
    Website: www.marketsthelena.com
    707-963-3799
    1347 Main St. (between Adam & Spring Streets),
    St. Helena
    From the same team that opened Cyrus in Healdsburg, Market specializes in generous portions of good, old-fashioned, American Comfort Food sure to appeal to all diners, but with the gourmet twist true foodies can expect.

    Menu items:

    Crispy Calamari, Nopales and Fresno Chilies with Chipotle Aioli and Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa $10.95

    A Very Adult Macaroni & Cheese; Fiscalini Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Hobb's Bacon $13.50

  • Osake (Bid Gourmand & Under $25)
    Website: http://www.garychus.com/osakeoverview.asp
    (707) 542-8282
    2446 Patio Court
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    This spacious Japanese restaurant, which boasts sleek lines , minimalist décor and best yet a giant aquarium, lures foodies with its sushi and robata grill. You can order dinner entrees as a la carte items or as a complete meal, served with soup, salad and rice.

    Menu items:

    Osake Executive Bento Dinner $21.00
    Soup: Miso w. Tofu & Wakame
    Salad: House Salad
    Steamed Rice
    Entrees/ Choice of Two: Sashimi & California Roll / Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura / Teriyaki Beef, Salmon or Chicken

  • Oliveto (Bid Gourmand)
    Website: http://www.oliveto.com
    510.547.5956
    5655 College Ave (at Shafter Ave.) Oakland
    Oliveto dinner and lunch menus feature the best local, in-season, organic produce as well as sustainably raised meats and poultry and conscientiously harvested fish. The expert team uses traditional Italian cooking methods to coax the essence from each top quality ingredient.

    Menu items:

    Tagliatelle with braised Paine Farm pigeon and roast Butternut squash $14.50

    Potato gnocchi with Magruder Ranch manzo heart ragù $15.50

    Pinot Gris, "Klindt Vineyard," Claudia Springs,Mendocino County, 2006 $10.00

  • Collibri (Bid Gourmand)
    Website: http://www.colibrimexicanbistro.com
    (415) 440 2737
    438 Geary Street
    San Francisco, California 94102
    The soul of colonial Mexico lives in this pretty cantina where gold and terra-cotta color the walls, circular wooden chandeliers hang overhead, and wrought-iron details provide traditional accents. Enjoy margaritas, Mexican wine or sample of the 100 tequilas selected to complement the vibrant flavors found in the authentic cuisine.

    Menu items:

    Mole Poblano - A legendary blend of spices, chiles, nuts and chocolate made into a rich and flavorful sauce, in the traditional Puebla style, served over chicken $14.00

    Filete Mignon - filet mignon with ancho chile stuffed with seasoned goat cheese, over mashed potatoes with sautéed spinach and chipotle chile sauce $18.00

    Mango crème brulée - A creamy mango custard with a bottom layer of fresh mango pieces $8.00

  • Fork (Bid Gourmand)
    Website: http://www.marinfork.com
    (415) 453-9898
    198 Sir Francis Drake Blud (between Bank St. & Tunstead Ave.), San Anselmo
    Simplicity is key at Fork. This is a classic food tale: choice local ingredients meet classic technique. The Fork experience is also based around simplicity and quality; rather than muddle dishes with excessive ingredients, the Chef focuses on the intrinsic qualities and sublime flavors of just a few exceptional ingredients to create each dish. The result is a menu created with care and a relentless attention to detail.

    Menu items:

    Early Prix Fixe Menu: $27 Tuesday through Friday - 5:30 to 6:15 pm Choice of One from Each Course

    First Course

    Asparagus and Green Garlic Soup with Truffled White Asparagus Salad, Meyer Lemon Cream

    Little Gem Lettuces, Spring Peas with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette and Shaved Piave

    Second Course

    Potato Crusted Halibut with Flowering Rabe, Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette

    Boneless Braised Oxtail with Polenta, Baby Vegtables, Blood Orange Gremolata

    Third Course

    Vanilla Rum Semifreddo

    Dark Chocolate Cake, Caramelized Banana

About the Michelin Guide:
The Michelin Guide is a selection of the best restaurants and hotels in a given city or region and in each category of comfort and price. This selection is determined by anonymous evaluations by trained inspectors following established, international standards in place for more than 100 years. The inspectors are all Michelin employees and they pay all their bills. The Michelin Guide is not a reference book or a directory. It is a selection of the best addresses in each category of comfort and price. Unlike many guidebooks, selection and/or ratings are not determined by popular vote but are done by professional inspectors. The guide is also not intended to include every establishment in a region - just the very best of the best, across all categories of price and comfort level, in the given city or area.

For more information about the Michelin Guide and the Discovery campaign, visit http://www.michelinguide.com.

About Jean-Luc Naret:
He's the director of the Michelin Guide, joined the company in September 2003. After working closely with his predecessor, Derek Brown, he took over his new responsibilities on June 1, 2004. With solid experience in the luxury hotel segment, he is the sixth director in the guide's 107-year history.A graduate of Ecole Hôtelière de Paris, Naret has worked in luxury hotels for two decades. Upon completing his studies in May 1982, he was hired as manager of the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express train. He later worked in Bora Bora for two years before being appointed deputy director of the Bristol Hotel in Paris.Naret then joined the management team of One & Only Le Saint-Géran in Mauritius. For the same company, he was active in the reopening of The Palace of the Lost City in South Africa and the One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas.In 2000, Naret managed the renovation of the Sandy Lane in Barbados, which quickly won an award as the "World's Best Resort."Before joining Michelin, he was head of operations for a group of hotels belonging to His Highness the Aga Khan.

About the Discovery contest:
Consumers can enter the "Discovery" contest starting October 6 by submitting a 150-word description of the discoveries they've made using the MICHELIN guide on . One new winner will be selected each week through December 31, 2008, to win a $150 gift certificate to try a new restaurant as well as have his or her discovery featured on www.michelinguide.com . One grand prize winner will be selected from all of the weekly winners to create a "Design Your Own Michelin Discovery Weekend in New York City," including all meals and accommodations. In addition to the contest, San Francisco diners will be able to follow two guest explorers as they make discoveries about the city's dining scene using the MICHELIN guide and then post their experiences on www.michelinguide.com . There will be 10 Michelin Discovery guest explorers across the four U.S. cities included in the MICHELIN guide collection, including two Bay Area guest explorers, one Los Angeles guest explorer, one Las Vegas guest explorer and six New York guest explorers.


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