California

This restaurant received the Central Coast’s 1st Michelin star — and it’s not in Santa Barbara

The Central Coast has its first Michelin-starred restaurant.

Aubergine, a restaurant in Carmel, received the prestigious distinction Monday.

“Aubergine is a long-standing, beloved destination nestled in Monterey with meals that leave a lasting impression,” Michelin wrote in their description of the restaurant, seeming a little confused about its location. “Inspectors were impressed by the local flavor and seasonality of the menu.”

Michelin awarded the restaurant a one-star rating, meaning “a very good restaurant in its category.”

The Central Coast restaurant, run by executive chef Justin Cogley, features an eight-course tasting menu that costs $185 per person and changes daily, according to its website. In 2015 and 2016, Aubergine was nominated for James Beard Foundation awards, including one for outstanding service. The restaurant has also received accolades from Forbes Travel Guide and Wine Spectator.

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Until this year, the Michelin Guide never ventured beyond the Bay Area — but Visit California paid Michelin $600,000 to expand its guide to Los Angeles, Sacramento, Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Diego, The Sacramento Bee reported in March.

Michelin gave out 90 stars in California during its first-ever statewide guide. Los Angeles and San Francisco received 87 of them.

Click here to see the complete list of starred restaurants.

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