The San Francisco Bay Area is home to several of the world’s finest luxury accommodations and restaurants featuring the ultimate dining experience. In the Bay Area, top restaurants are defined by the prestigious Michelin Guide, whose star rating system is the world’s oldest and most coveted. While many Bay Area restaurants have a Michelin star or higher, only a handful reside on hotel properties, with most of them in the beautiful California wine country. The following are five of the best Bay Area hotels, all with Michelin-starred restaurants.
Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, CA 94573
Auberge du Soleil is a prestigious luxury resort featuring a Michelin-starred restaurant. Opened in 1981, the Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil was one of the first fine dining establishments in the California Wine Country and its early phenomenal successes led to opening the first luxury hotel in the California wine country in 1985. With one of the most breathtaking views of the Napa Valley, the Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil is led by Executive Chef Robert Curry, whose previous culinary experience includes work in Paris with the acclaimed French chef Alain Ducasse at the three-star Michelin restaurant Louis XV and Joseph Thuet at the two-star Michael Rostang. The award-winning restaurant features one of the Napa Valley’s most extensive wine lists, including selections from its private reserve and an equally impressive menu, offering three, four or five courses for dinner.
7871 River Road
Forestville, CA 95436
Tucked away on a quiet country road just outside tiny Forestville in the Russian River Valley, the Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant is a luxury farmhouse-styled inn and spa with one of the most unique dining experiences in the country. Listed as one of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel+Leisure, this extraordinary boutique hotel owned by the Bartolomei family features a charming restaurant honored with a Michelin star for six consecutive years. Also noted as one of the Most Romantic Restaurants by Open Table, the Farmhouse Inn is led by Executive Chef Steve Litke, Maitre d’ Christopher Fohner, Wine Director, Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth and Pastry Chef Pattie Taan. Samples from the menu include Mixx Farms autumn greens from the Bartolomei Ranch, salt roasted pear and Parmesan ravioli, wild Pacific grouper and candy cap pumpkin brulee. The restaurant only serves dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday, with a Monday Night three-course prix fixe for just $49 through March.
755 Silverado Trail
Calistoga, CA 94515
Solage Calistoga is a spectacular 22-acre property featuring 89 rooms and one-bedroom suites, a full-service spa and the Michelin-starred Solbar restaurant. Winner of several awards, including one of the 2014 World’s Best Hotels from Travel+Leisure, Solage Calistoga recently became the first resort in Calistoga to be distinguished as an AAA Four Diamond-rated property, known for superior service and amenities. A Michelin-starred restaurant for five consecutive years, Solbar is led by Executive Chef Brandon Sharp, whose previous culinary service includes work at the Michelin-starred Gary Danko in San Francisco and with Thomas Keller at the world-renowned French Laundry in Yountville. Solbar is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, features fresh organic vegetables and herbs grown in the garden outside Solbar kitchen and has an acclaimed menu that’s updated daily.
1001 Westside Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Nestled in the hills above the Dry Creek Valley, northwest of Healdsburg, Madrona Manor is an award-winning, classic Victorian estate with the highest ranked restaurant in Sonoma County. Specializing in the farm-to-table concept, the Restaurant at Madrona Manor has been awarded a Michelin star for seven consecutive years. Despite that prestigious distinction, the restaurant’s menu is a superb bargain in comparison to other California Wine Country restaurants bearing the same honor. Guests can compose their own menu from six enticing themes or choose the “Chef’s Grand Dame” tasting menu with selections from Executive Chef Jesse Mallgren. A Bay Area native, Mallgren has been Madrona Manor’s chef since 1999. Earlier in his career, he honed his impeccable culinary skills with some of the country’s top chefs, including Gary Danko at Chateau Souverain in Geyserville and celebrity Chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars restaurant in San Francisco.
Meadowood Napa Valley
900 Meadowood Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
The only hotel in California with a three-star Michelin restaurant, Meadowood Napa Valley is perhaps the premier destination for luxury accommodations and fine dining in the California wine country. Nearly hidden within the lush green hills above St. Helena, the Restaurant at Meadowood specializes in local, sustainable American cuisine, with a particular emphasis on fresh ingredients from the resort’s vast and bountiful garden. Chef Christopher Kostow leads the culinary team at the Restaurant at Meadowood and features an extravagant nine- or 10-course tasting menu, with optional wine pairings from more than 1,200 labels. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with other dining options at the resort, including The Grill, the Restaurant Bar and at the Pool Terrace Cafe. Last year, Kostow was honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West in a contest showcasing 20 of the finest culinary experts from the western U.S.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.