Redwood City's Vesta named Michelin Bib Gourmand | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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Redwood City's Vesta named Michelin Bib Gourmand

Uploaded: Oct 5, 2017
Redwood City Italian eatery Vesta is the only Midpeninsula restaurant that retained its status in the Michelin guide's latest Bay Area Bib Gourmand list, which honors places that serve high-quality food at an affordable price. 

Michelin dropped two Palo Alto restaurants from this year's list: French restaurant Zola and Greek standby Evvia.

The sausage and honey pizza at Vesta in Redwood City. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Weekly.

The 2018 list, released Thursday, only includes four new restaurants in Oakland, San Mateo, Marin and Millbrae. A total of 67 restaurants are highlighted throughout the Bay Area.

Bib Gourmand restaurants are selected by anonymous Michelin food inspectors "who choose restaurants serving high quality food on their menus and make it possible to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included)," a press release states. "These selections are very often the same restaurants that the Michelin food inspectors frequent when they are off the clock."

Vesta -- operated by Peter and Courtney Borrone, son and daughter-in-law of the owners of Menlo Park's Cafe Borrone -- opened on Broadway Street in 2012. It has been a Bib Gourmand restaurant for several years in a row.

Read more about Vesta in this 2016 review: Fired up

The 2018 Michelin star selections for the Bay Area will be announced next, on Oct. 12. Bib Gourmand restaurants are not eligible to receive stars.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 5, 2017 at 11:45 pm

We've been pretty disappointed with the quality of Palo Alto's mid-priced restaurants as well.

Posted by Bob Dylan, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 6, 2017 at 7:02 am

Bob Dylan is a registered user.

The restaurants in Palo Alto just don't seem to be memorable...or special. But then what do I know? I still miss Good Earth and Vicolo pizzeria!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 6, 2017 at 7:34 am

I have a hard time seeing how you could be disappointed at either Zola or Evvia. That are consistently fabulous and very memorable.

Posted by To Resident, a resident of College Terrace,
on Oct 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

But Evvia is overpriced - you cannot get two courses and wine for under $40 - as required above.

IMO, Evvia's food is fine for most part, but unnecessarily overpriced, overall.

Posted by Art, a resident of Barron Park,
on Oct 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

Disappointed that Zola was dropped. I've dined there and found the food marvelous and service excellent. Perhaps it didn't meet the Bib Gourmand criteria - too expensive? Would like to know .. From what I know Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants are ones where you can get two courses and a glass of wine or a dessert for $40 or less, excluding tax and tip.

Posted by charles reilly, a resident of another community,
on Oct 7, 2017 at 5:05 am

Thank you, Elena, for mentioning a Redwood City establishment. We're rockin' up here withs TONS of great mid-priced places. It's great that we can simply walk along Broadway and choose one. Also, the restaurants that open mostly tend to stay in business. There is not a "here today gone tomorrow" atmosphere that I find distracting. We aren't picky eaters, don't need a gourmet experience; our middle-class palettes are very happy here.

Posted by Gebhard, a resident of Mountain View,
on Oct 7, 2017 at 8:39 pm

A well deserved award. I work in Redwood City and have been going to Vesta since they opened. Always great food, friendly service, good prices. A truly wonderful restaurant. Congratulations to the whole team at Vesta that makes it happen!

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Oct 8, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Congratulations Vesta!

Posted by tip-poll, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 10, 2017 at 1:26 am

Curious about whether $40 becomes $52 with tax and tip.
Full-service restaurants here in general, not just Vesta.

Posted by Eater Reader, a resident of another community,
on Oct 10, 2017 at 10:03 am


"Curious about whether $40 becomes $52 with tax and tip."

It depends on A.) what your local sales tax rate is and B.) how much you tip.

As stated in the article, the Bib Gourmand criteria are: "two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included)."

Here's the math. A $40 + 9% sales tax would total $43.60 on the guest check. Add a standard 15% gratuity ($6.54) and you arrive at $50.14.

Posted by Reality check, a resident of Mountain View,
on Oct 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

Keep in mind once again that Michelin's "Bib Gourmand list" is separate from its category of "budget" restaurants (the Guide has included a separate "under $25" list in recent years, but that is not part of Michelin's annual pre-release publicity program that prompted this and other journalistic references to Bib Gourmand). "Bib Gourmand" is a list of Michelin inspectors' personal favorites within a price range somewhat above the "budget" category. The distinction between the two is made very clear in the actual book.

Posted by cook, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm

@ Eater Reader:

Tip should only be calculated on food price, not including sales tax. While many restaurants have suggested tips based on including sales tax for the calculations in the past, I have been noticing that many in the last couple of months have changed and now only make the percentage suggestions on the food price excluding sales tax.

$40 * 15% = $6. Total $49.60. Or as restaurants now write it 49.6.

Posted by tip-poll, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 11, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Didn't mean to derail the thread, but "tax and gratuity not included" omits a significant amount. I doubt the tip-consensus is still 15% around here, except for maybe a quick breakfast served at the counter. Don't know what the servers see or expect. Perhaps they are happier with a pleasant low-maintenance customer than they would be with a high-tipping boor. Compensation is a touchy subject.

Posted by Lizbeth, a resident of Community Center,
on Oct 12, 2017 at 3:28 pm

I dine out for superior food and great service and a nice setting - In Palo Alto I feel Bistro Elan is worthy of my money.

Posted by Lawman, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Neither of the two dropped restaurants meet the criterion of less than $40 for 2 courses plus glass of wine or dessert. There is another (unlikely) possibility: one or both of them has been elevated to "star" status. If RWC commercial rents do not go the Palo Alto way, there is a good chance Vesta will maintain its status and maybe even more RWC restaurants will be awarded bibs.

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