By Richard Leong
(Reuters) - Michelin handed out stars to a record number of San Francisco-area restaurants in the latest edition of its guide to be launched next Wednesday.
Michelin, which rates restaurants in 24 countries and whose stars are an internationally recognized sign of quality dining, awarded 50 eateries with stars.
After receiving acclaims for its imaginative and seasonal cuisine, Manresa became the fifth restaurant in the northern California region to achieve three stars, Michelin's high rating for "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."
The other three-star establishments were Benu and Saison in San Francisco, and the French Laundry and the Restaurant at Meadowood in the wine-producing Napa Valley.
There are about 100 restaurants in the world with the three-star distinction.
Diners dig deep in their pockets for a meal at these three-star restaurants. For example, Manresa's current multi-course tasting menu costs $210 plus another $180 for wines to complement each dish.
Campton Place and Commis moved up to Michelin's two-star category for “excellent cuisine, worth a detour.”
They joined Acquerello, Atelier Crenn, Baumé, Coi and Quince.
Thirty-eight area restaurants achieved one star from Michelin for being "a very good restaurant in its category."
More than a dozen newcomers to this group included Mourad, Aziza, Octavia, the Lazy Bear, and Kin Khao.
Other one-star debuts were All-Spice, Al’s Place, Aster, Californios, Commonwealth, Lord Stanley, Nico, Omakase, Rasa, Sushi Yoshizumi and Wako.
Not all the eateries in latest guide serve high-end, expensive dishes. It listed 74 "Bib Gourmand" restaurants that serve top-notch food at affordable prices.
(Reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)