The Michelin guide describes David Kinch’s restaurant as “worth a detour.”
Manresa dining room with people
Credit: Eric Wolfinger

As of this week, the Bay Area boasts a brand new three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Michelin announced on Tuesday that Manresa, the Los Gatos restaurant helmed by chef David Kinch, has finally earned its due in the top tier of Bay Area restaurants. Manresa joins The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood on the list of three-star restaurants, along with last year’s newcomers Benu and Saison.

Open since 2002, Manresa had held two Michelin stars ever since the guide launched in the Bay Area back in 2006. Officially, this bump from two to three stars takes Manresa from what Michelin describes as “excellent cuisine, worth a detour” territory to “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” But restaurant obsessives have been making special journeys to Manresa for years now, lauding it for a commitment to seasonality and focus on vegetables that goes beyond industry trends: Manresa’s tasting menu is built upon a collaboration with Love Apple Farms.

Kinch himself has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef award, he has won that same organization’s award for best chef in the Pacific region, and he is known and respected internationally. In fact, he was presenting about “links in the chain” at a food symposium in Ireland at the time of Michelin’s announcement, a symposium where fellow attendees include renowned chefs such as Spain’s Albert Adria and Elena Arzak.

Notes of congratulations from Kinch’s fellow chefs and restaurateurs have swept across social media since the announcement, with words of praise from Andrew Zimmern, Eric Ripert, José Andrés and more. For its part, Manresa thanked Michelin for the honor, writing on Twitter that, “We will do our best to uphold and represent what #michelin stands for.”

For a full list of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred restaurants, check out the guide’s official announcement here, as well as its list of more affordable restaurants known as the Bib Gourmands. And start looking at booking a table at Manresa now — these three-star promotions do tend to jam up restaurant reservation lines.