The family was having breakfast when the phone rang Tuesday morning. Adega, one of the few Portuguese restaurants in the Bay Area, is closed Monday and Tuesday, so this was technically the weekend. Silence spread throughout the group, as chefs Jessica Carreira and David Costa, along with Adega co-owners Carlos and Fernanda Carreira, learned that the restaurant had earned a highly coveted Michelin star.

“The first reaction was shock, no screaming, no yelling,” Carlos Carreira says,  “We thought it was a prank call. We thought: Is it real?”

It is.

Adega is not only the first San Jose restaurant to earn a Michelin star, but also just the second Portuguese restaurant in the United States to be honored with the most prestigious culinary award in the world.

Carlos Carreira’s voice radiated with pride during a phone interview Tuesday, as he spoke about Jessica, his 23-year-old daughter, her passion for food and her culinary journey from San Jose to Portugal and back. Mr. Carreira feels the restaurant has already achieved its mission of providing an authentic Portuguese dining experience in San Jose, using ingredients as varied as pig ear, rabbit and honeycomb and pairing them with Portuguese wines.

But, he says, “Earning a star was important for the chefs. To have a Michelin inspector validate their decisions, like using the best and freshest authentic ingredients, was rewarding.”

Chef Jessica Carreira is now one of the youngest chefs—and one of a few female chefs—to earn a Michelin star distinction. Her father says she’s finding it a little overwhelming for the moment. Jessica Carreira and Costa, her co-chef and fiancé, worked together at another one-Michelin star restaurant, Eleven in Lisbon, Portugal, before moving to San Jose. Their fine dining restaurant could have opened anywhere in the Bay Area, but Jessica Carreira was adamant about opening Adega in San Jose’s Little Portugal district, the same neighborhood where she grew up. With its valet parking and impeccable décor, Adega can seem other-worldly among its neighbors on Alum Rock Avenue.

Earning a Michelin star will increase attention, as well as expectations, for Adega, but Carlos Carreira says the restaurant embraces the challenge of maintaining the vision that has been so well received by diners and critics.

“After the excitement wears off, there is a responsibility, especially for the chefs, to be viewed as the only restaurant in San Jose with a Michelin star,” he says. “There is a sense of responsibility to know what they represent for the city of San Jose.”