Will Manresa, Coi, or Benu Join the Three-Star Club?

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O, the drama of it all... Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

The Bay Area food world is on the edge of its collective seat (kind of, not really) awaiting next week's release of the 2012 Michelin Guide. The biggest question: Now that Michelin went a little star-happy promoting restaurants in New York this year, will S.F. also see another restaurant or two join the likes of the French Laundry and Meadowood in the three-star realm? Our two-star ranks are sort of slim at the moment, but the three most likely contenders for the tres would be Manresa, Coi (both have two currently), and Benu, which opened too late last year for contention in the guide but which was already name-checked by outgoing director Jean-Luc Naret as one to watch.

It's more likely that Benu will debut in the guide at two stars, but stranger things have happened.

Also, will Saison rise to two-star status? And will Chez Panisse earn their star back?

If you're into the inside-baseball thrill of it all, please review last year's list in anticipation, and check out the Scoop's further delving into seven other "storylines" to follow as we await the list next Tuesday.

Eight storylines to follow in anticipation of this year’s Bay Area Michelin guide [Scoop]
Earlier: Bar Tartine, Zero Zero, Contigo Among New Picks for Michelin Bib Gourmand
Michelin Guide Hemorrhaging Cash; Michelin Family Does Not Necessarily Care
Naret Unafraid of Chez Panisse Death Threats, Charles Phan Confused, and More Michelin Fallout