Star search

Illustration By Mark Stivers

So, the new Michelin Guide for the Bay Area has just come out, causing flutters of scandale, accusations of inaccuracies and claims that the book was written by people who just don’t understand California: Chez Panisse has but one star? The only three-star is the French Laundry? Ooh la la. Naturally, there’s no coverage of Sacramento, and the days when it was de rigueur to head to San Francisco for a special-occasion dinner have gone by. But when (as the Michelin Man might say) much is riding on your dinner plans, the book holds good tips, especially in the Napa and Sonoma regions. It points out some real gems, like my favorite breakfast spot, the Willow Wood Market Cafe in tiny Graton. There are also excellent recommendations (perceived slighting of Chez Panisse notwithstanding) in the East Bay. I don’t think the Michelin Guide to Sacramento is coming anytime soon, but honestly, we can probably all live without the star-driven feuds.