Starry Eyed


Sara checking out the guide, fresh off the press.

So, how ’bout those Michelin stars? Nearly every SF food lover with an opinion has weighed in on the announcement on Monday of who attained or lost what, and by now you’re surely tired of hearing about it. (For those of you playing a game of catch up, you can read about it here, or here, or here). Heck, I’m tired of hearing about it. Because frankly, I don’t really care about stars at all.

Personal taste is such a highly subjective thing. As a food writer, I think that the greatest service I can do for people is give them as much information as possible about the dining experience that I had at a restaurant. I’m able to offer some perspective that a layperson might not have, and I might be able to tell you just what made those prawns so delicious. But after that, it’s up to you. Maybe you don’t like stuffy dining rooms. Maybe you do—maybe they make you feel pampered and special. Maybe you prefer sharing plates of food with friends over cocktails, or perhaps you’re the kind of person who likes intimate dinner a deux. All I’m saying is that I don’t know what you like, exactly, but I can tell you what I liked, or didn’t, and give you all the information I can to help you make a decision about where to eat on Friday night. My fear with stars is that they come to define a restaurant. What does a 3-star restaurant look like? Taste like? Feel like? Hard to say. Wouldn’t you rather I just told you what I love about a menu, a restaurant, a meal?

We humans like to quantify—this is better than that. But oftentimes, with restaurants, it’s not so black and white. And I hate to think that a chef is back in his kitchen worrying about his stars, rather than just cooking. I know I’m being a bit of an idealist here—I read starred dining reviews, too, just like everyone else—I guess I’m just saying that I’m glad I’m not writing them. And I hope some of you continue to read what we at 7x7 have to say about dining and eating, without a single star in sight.
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