The 2018 Michelin Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area is nearly 100 pages shorter than the 2017 edition, with more Michelin ads. The Sonoma County section shrank from 33 pages last year to 13 pages this year. The county’s introductory commentary is almost identical year to year, meaning the copy from 2017 is basically copied and pasted in the 2018 edition. And, yes, this writer has kept 12 years of Bay Area Michelin guides.
Last year Café La Haye, Della Santina, El Dorado Kitchen, Glen Ellen Star, Harvest Moon Café, Kenwood Restaurant, La Salette, Oso, Santé, the fig café, and Yeti all received either the “Bib Gourmand” or “crossed forks” awards.
In the 2018 shortened Sonoma County section, Glen Ellen Star got the coveted Bib Gourmand award accompanied by the exact same copy from last year, Saul Gropman’s Café La Haye received utensils and “the plate” symbol signifying “fresh ingredients, carefully prepared in a good meal,” as did Sondra Bernstein’s Fig Café in Glen Ellen and Yeti. Again, same copy as last year.
Della Santina, El Dorado Kitchen, Harvest Moon Café, La Salette, Oso, and Santé were not even mentioned, certainly due to the reduced size of the guide rather than their food.
For those who rely on Michelin guides around the world, maybe approach their reviews more cautiously. Possibly one of those cases of spreading too thin too fast.