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Can we talk Michelin in NYC?

biondanonima Sep 28, 2011 10:12 AM

I was privileged to eat in three of Manhattan's 1-Michelin-Star restaurants this past week, and writing my reviews and comparing the restaurants (in addition to thinking back on meals at other 1, 2 and 3-star restaurants) has really gotten me thinking about what makes a dining experience great and star-worthy.

According to an article I found online, the Michelin system works like this:

One Star:
"A very good restaurant in its own Category"

Two Stars:
"Excellent cooking, worth a detour"

Three Stars:
"Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
One always eats extremely well here, sometimes superbly"

CRITERIA FOR AWARD OF STARS:
Commonly misunderstood, criteria like: table setting, number of waiters, quality of facilities or equipment are NOT taken into account.

There are only five criteria considered in awarding a Michelin Star;

1) Quality of ingredients
2) Skill in preparing them and in combining flavours
3) Level of creativity
4) Consistency of culinary standards
5) Value for money

Having read all of that, some (but not all) of the places in NYC that carry one star make a little more sense to me. However, I am still totally mystified as to how Del Posto and EMP can have only one star, while Daniel has three. Also, how can a restaurant like SHO have a star at all, if EMP has only one? And why would a place like Public get a star, while Tocqueville is totally ignored?

Here are links to my reviews of the three 1-Stars I visited last week, plus one from a couple of months ago:

Del Posto: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809644
EMP: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809465
Public: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809246
SHO Shaun Hergatt: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803387

And a link to my review of Tocqueville: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809282

Please share your thoughts and link your reviews! I look forward to some interesting discussion and debate.

  1. ChefJune Oct 6, 2011 10:58 AM

    <CRITERIA FOR AWARD OF STARS:
    Commonly misunderstood, criteria like: table setting, number of waiters, quality of facilities or equipment are NOT taken into account.

    There are only five criteria considered in awarding a Michelin Star;

    1) Quality of ingredients
    2) Skill in preparing them and in combining flavours
    3) Level of creativity
    4) Consistency of culinary standards
    5) Value for money >

    How interesting to see that's listed by Michelin folks. Wonder whether they also claim that is true for France. Because I've been told by insiders that unless the inside of the restaurant is obscenely luxurious, there is no hope for a third star. So I wonder whether that list is more for show than for real?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune
      s
      Sneakeater Oct 6, 2011 11:09 AM

      Totally. They NEVER abided by their bullshit. Which was fine in Europe, cuz everybody KNEW the truth.

      1. re: ChefJune
        f
        fooder Oct 6, 2011 12:55 PM

        Maybe that comes under "value for money". Since they never list any truly cheap places, maybe they assume that they will spend at least some amount, and that the decor/atmosphere is part of whether there is value in spending that amount

      2. salvati Oct 4, 2011 04:42 PM

        What's Michelin and why do we care? So outdated. So mundane. Who cares?

        8 Replies
        1. re: salvati
          w
          wreckers00 Oct 4, 2011 06:03 PM

          Despite the fact that Michelin is skewed, often wrong, outdated, and that the book has terrible descriptions, etc....it makes restaurants money. Any restaurant that adds a star (especially a third) will automatically get a boost. Obviously some of these weren't struggling for customers, but it gets the chefs fame, cookbook deals, traffic from people like celebrities or people from outside the U.S. who simply look at who has michelin stars.

          That's why I think it matters, personally. Really though it's just fun to argue the pros/cons of each restaurant and the choices.

          1. re: wreckers00
            p
            peter j Oct 4, 2011 06:36 PM

            And as food lovers we all want our opinions to be validated by an external benchmark, which is why Michelin generates so much discussion on Chowhound. It's all good fun, just someone else's opinion versus yours and mine.

            The list is debatable for sure, but I do appreciate the attention it draws to restaurants that I never think about visiting like Joel Robuchon, Rosanjin, etc. Personally I'm disappointed that 15 East, Sushi Yasuda, Lincoln, and a few others didn't merit inclusion, but then again there's always hope for next year. I mean hey, Tori Shin and Junoon made it this year, how cool is that.

            -----
            15 East
            15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

            Sushi Yasuda
            204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

            Rosanjin
            141 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013

          2. re: salvati
            k
            kathryn Oct 4, 2011 08:00 PM

            It matters when you have to explain to European visitors to this board that the guide doesn't mean what it means back there.

            1. re: kathryn
              t
              Tommy D. Oct 6, 2011 07:29 AM

              Do you think the NY guide is now too random or over-inclusive? Grant Achatz tweeted yesterday: "given the NY Michelin release results....should make everyone else nervous. It seems the rules have been thrown out." I was just wondering what he meant by that.

              1. re: Tommy D.
                n
                nmprisons Oct 6, 2011 08:21 AM

                It is probably both. There are many inferior restaurants with too many stars (e.g., Gilt) and many of the "peer" restaurants of those actually chosen are missing (e.g., Craft).

                1. re: nmprisons
                  biondanonima Oct 6, 2011 08:54 AM

                  Agreed.

                2. re: Tommy D.
                  s
                  Sneakeater Oct 6, 2011 09:43 AM

                  When a dining counter that at the time of publication had no wine program gets three stars, I think it's pretty clear that the traditional rules aren't being applied. (And that nonsense that "only what's on the plate matters" -- the European Michelin guides were NEVER like that.)

                  1. re: Sneakeater
                    t
                    Tommy D. Oct 6, 2011 10:03 AM

                    That's what I thought he meant, thanks.

            2. h
              H Manning Oct 4, 2011 01:09 PM

              Here it is. Congrats to Brooklyn Fare and EMP!

              THREE STARS
              Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare*
              Daniel
              Eleven Madison Park*
              Jean Georges
              Le Bernardin
              Masa
              Per Se

              TWO STARS
              Corton
              Gilt
              Gordon Ramsay at The London
              Kajitsu
              L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon*
              Marea
              Momofuku Ko
              SHO Shaun Hergatt*
              Soto

              ONE STAR
              Adour
              Ai Fiori (N)
              Aldea
              annisa
              Aureole
              A Voce Columbus
              A Voce Madison
              Blue Hill
              Bouley
              Breslin (The)
              Brushstroke (N)
              Cafe Boulud
              Casa Mono
              Danji (N)
              Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen
              Del Posto
              Dovetail
              Dressler
              Gotham Bar and Grill
              Gramercy Tavern
              Heartbreak (N)
              Jewel Bako
              Junoon (N)
              Kyo Ya
              Laut
              Marc Forgione
              Minetta Tavern
              Modern (The)
              Oceana
              Peter Luger
              Picholine*
              Public
              River Cafe
              Rosanjin (N)
              Rouge Tomate
              Saul
              Seasonal
              Spotted Pig
              Sushi Azabu
              Sushi of Gari
              Tamarind Tribeca (N)
              Tori Shin (N)
              Tulsi (N)
              Veritas
              Wallse
              wd~50

              * denotes change
              (N) denotes new addition

              http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/10/...

              -----
              Per Se
              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

              Cafe Boulud
              20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

              Eleven Madison Park
              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

              Gramercy Tavern
              42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

              Casa Mono
              52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

              Blue Hill
              75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

              Jean Georges
              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

              Spotted Pig
              314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

              Wallse
              344 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014

              Del Posto
              85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

              Minetta Tavern
              113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

              A Voce
              41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

              Veritas
              43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

              Le Bernardin
              155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

              Gari
              370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

              Jewel Bako
              239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

              Gotham Bar and Grill
              12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

              L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
              57 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

              Picholine
              35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

              Kyo Ya
              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

              Momofuku Ko
              163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Rosanjin
              141 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013

              Oceana
              120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

              Marc Forgione
              134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

              Laut
              15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

              Sushi Azabu
              428 Greenwich St (basement), New York, NY 10013

              Corton
              239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              Rouge Tomate
              10 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

              Kajitsu
              414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

              Marea
              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              Aldea
              31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

              SHO Shaun Hergatt
              40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

              The Breslin
              20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

              Masa
              10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

              Tulsi
              211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

              Danji
              346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

              Ai Fiori
              400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

              Junoon
              27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

              11 Replies
              1. re: H Manning
                Cheeryvisage Oct 4, 2011 01:19 PM

                I'm really pleased for SHO Shaun Hergatt's promotion to two stars. Glad it's being recognized.

                Sucks for Picholine though. :/

                -----
                SHO Shaun Hergatt
                40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                  r
                  Riverman500 Oct 4, 2011 01:33 PM

                  Picholine is still very good though. This is great news for Brooklyn Fare - very happy for Cesar Ramirez. I should revisit EMP and SHO Shaun Hergatt.

                  -----
                  Picholine
                  35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                  SHO Shaun Hergatt
                  40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                  1. re: Riverman500
                    ellenost Oct 4, 2011 02:33 PM

                    I loved my dinner at Picholine from a few weeks ago. Sorry to read that they were demoted to one star though.

                    -----
                    Picholine
                    35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                  2. re: Cheeryvisage
                    biondanonima Oct 5, 2011 08:24 AM

                    This was actually the biggest shocker of all for me - IMO, our visit to SHO didn't even rate ONE star, let alone two!

                  3. re: H Manning
                    Winterpool Oct 4, 2011 02:33 PM

                    I'm so irrationally pleased for Eleven Madison Park, I'd dine there tonight to celebrate the distinction properly... if there were any tables available, heh.

                    Congratulations!

                    PS biondanonima, you've an answer from Michelin: Eleven Madison Park and SHO are -not- merely one-star restaurants after all.

                    -----
                    Eleven Madison Park
                    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                    1. re: Winterpool
                      biondanonima Oct 5, 2011 08:25 AM

                      LOL - I agree with them about EMP, but DEFINITELY not about SHO. I was incredibly underwhelmed with our meal there. How a restaurant that says "sorry, our sommelier is out tonight" gets 2-stars is simply beyond me!

                    2. re: H Manning
                      s
                      sheio Oct 4, 2011 07:10 PM

                      CONGRATULATIONS to Chris Jaeckle at Ai Fiori!! Entirely deserved. See you at Plate by Plate next week!

                      -----
                      Ai Fiori
                      400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                      1. re: sheio
                        Winterpool Oct 5, 2011 08:43 AM

                        I'd overlooked Ai Fiori on my first hasty scan of the list, but to my mind Ai Fiori epitomises the one-star restaurant. It may not be worth crossing a continent or an ocean, but the food is very good, and the service thoroughly professional. It's my new go-to restaurant in central Midtown (replacing db which disappointed me a couple of times this year).

                        Congratulations Chef Jaeckle (and of course Michael White).

                        -----
                        DB Bistro Moderne
                        55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                        Ai Fiori
                        400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                        1. re: Winterpool
                          ellenost Oct 5, 2011 12:10 PM

                          Ai Fiori is a welcome addition to midtown dining, and well deserved of their Michelin star. They were also #1 of Zagat's new restaurants.

                          -----
                          Ai Fiori
                          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                      2. re: H Manning
                        Winterpool Oct 5, 2011 03:20 PM

                        Revisiting the list, I wonder why Michelin doesn't care for Colicchio... I've only dined at Craftbar and Colicchio And Sons once, and my dinner at the latter was rather disappointing, but Sifton has given 3 stars to both Craft and Colicchio and Sons, so I'd expect at least one of them to merit a Michelin star?

                        -----
                        Craftbar
                        900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

                        Colicchio & Sons
                        85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: Winterpool
                          n
                          nmprisons Oct 5, 2011 03:31 PM

                          Tom wrote some nasty stuff about them after last year's list came out. I think he is pissed that Craft doesn't have a star. I think it probably deserves one. I have never had a less than very good meal there, and it was my go to restaurant for a while and I have had, probably, fifteen to twenty meals there.

                          If places like Dovetail, Minetta Tavern, and Blue Hill have stars (all three of those are places I frequented and enjoyed while living in NYC), it is really hard to see why Craft does not.

                          -----
                          Blue Hill
                          75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

                          Minetta Tavern
                          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      3. h
                        H Manning Oct 3, 2011 04:32 PM

                        An amusing tweet from David Chang:

                        "@MichelinGuideNY every year around this time the red book forces me into some strange state of psychosis."

                        The suspense will be over by tomorrow.

                        1. j
                          JHunter Oct 1, 2011 08:45 AM

                          I'm going to go against the Chowhound grain and say that EMP is not at the 3-star level, though I would not argue against a second. We ate there a few weeks ago, and while all the dishes were very good only the duck stood out as remarkable. This was in contrast to our meal at Le Bernardin earlier this year, where almost all of the tasting menu dishes were as good (or better than) the EMP duck.

                          That said, EMP did outshine a number of the other 1-star places we've been to.

                          Don't get me wrong - we really enjoyed the food, service and experience at EMP and will be back at some point, but to us it didn't rise to the "worth a special journey" level.

                          -----
                          Eleven Madison Park
                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                          Le Bernardin
                          155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: JHunter
                            f
                            fooder Oct 1, 2011 09:39 AM

                            As a big fan of EMP I have nothing against EMP having 2 stars on an absolute scale. The new guides of the past decade have distorted the fact that it used to take forever for 2 star eateries to attain a third star. That very quest burned out Marco Pierre White.

                            But the question is about a relative scale. Most advocates of EMP being on the three star level have no problem with Per Se or Le Bernardin having three stars. Most of them have issues with how EMP compares with restaurants like Daniel or Gordon Ramsay or Gilt. If Daniel has three stars and Gordon Ramsay has two, EMP most certainly is closer to three, let alone one.

                            1. re: fooder
                              n
                              nmprisons Oct 1, 2011 09:58 AM

                              This is how I feel. I have no problem with EMP having two-stars, but there is no way Daniel or Jean Georges (let alone GR or Gilt) deserve more stars than it does.

                              I would be perfectly content with an NYC list that lowered Daniel and JG (and maybe even LB) down to 2 stars and elevated EMP up to join them, but until that happens, EMP should be recognized as their peer. I wonder how much the EMP issue is really a symptom of the guide's lethargy. EMP has been constantly improving while many other restaurants on the list have plateaued (LB, JG). Perhaps it will just take some time for the estimates to catch up with reality.

                              -----
                              Jean Georges
                              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                          2. sgordon Sep 29, 2011 09:35 AM

                            Looking over the Bib Gourmand picks, we can see the restaurants that WON'T be getting stars this year:

                            Roberta's

                            Momofuku Ssam Bar

                            Dirt Candy

                            HanGawi

                            Prune

                            ...and a number of others. What's amazing is that their criteria for "Bib Gourmand" - two courses plus wine or dessert for $40 or under - would be difficult to do at many of the restos they've listed. Maybe if you order THE cheapest app, entree, and glass of wine, it'd come to $39 at a few of them - and at a few of them I'm not even sure that'd be possible (quick look at the Apizz menu - the first one alphabetically I doubted - show it'd come to $41, actually)

                            And what to make of restaurants that serve food that isn't broken into "app" and "entree" categories, a la Momofuku? Or Chinese restaurants that serve dishes family-style? Simply because it's POSSIBLE to get two courses and a drink for $40 doesn't mean that's the average check, or that a restaurant doesn't offer a great deal more. My gf and have been to Ping's Seafood a couple times recently - one night we spent $50 for the two of us, another night $110. They didn't make the list, but I use them as an example since their prices are comparable to, say, Oriental Garden, which did. And which probably deserves a one-star, as they are undoubtedly a "very good restaurant in their category"

                            But Chinatown is relegated to Bib Gourmand status, I guess, because it's... inherently inferior food, I guess, to the mystery reviewers?

                            An interesting thing to note about Michelin's review process: stars are awarded in meetings in which all the reviewers get together to discuss and debate, rather than all of them simply submitting reviews and ratings and someone averaging them out. Thus, one dominant personality could quite seriously skew the ratings, those critics who have tastes that don't align with the room's Francophilic "mainstream" could be pushed to the side, and if it's felt they're too "outside the box" not be invited back the next year. It's a process that rewards conformity and submission to the group, and a certain similarity year after year.

                            -----
                            Momofuku Ssam Bar
                            207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                            Apizz
                            217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                            HanGawi
                            12 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

                            Oriental Garden
                            14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                            Ping's
                            22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                            Prune
                            54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                            Dirt Candy
                            430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: sgordon
                              n
                              nmprisons Sep 29, 2011 10:27 AM

                              After reading the list, I think Roberta's and Ssam Bar are pretty clear outliers in terms of food quality.

                              1. re: sgordon
                                loratliff Sep 29, 2011 10:36 AM

                                sgordon, nothing else to add other than wholehearted agreement, especially with your comments re: geography above.

                                On another note, does anyone think that Bib Gourmand designation essentially "bans" a restaurant from receiving stars in the future? I remember reading somewhere that inspectors don't seem to even consider Bib Gourmand-class restaurants when awarding stars. If so, that is very sad for Roberta's, Prune, and a few others on the list.

                                1. re: loratliff
                                  i
                                  InfoMofo Sep 29, 2011 11:03 AM

                                  [deleted- i was wrong]

                                  1. re: loratliff
                                    sgordon Sep 29, 2011 11:40 AM

                                    Iget the feeling that Michelin reviewers don't really re-visit places much, and once a designation has been set it's pretty much set - thus GR@TL keeping its two stars, etc. Certainly Roberta's, MSB, Prune, etc, all deserve one-star consideration, but I don't know of any restuarants that have been on BOTH lists. I think BG is basically "Honorable Mention" - they're not expensive or fancy enough (in Michelin's eyes) to deserve stars, so they're stuck in the BG ghetto.

                                    Any predictions for this year? Or maybe we should have another thread for that. Some of mine are already shot (I figured Ssam Bar to move up and for Roberta's to get a star, but, oh well...)

                                    1. re: sgordon
                                      loratliff Sep 30, 2011 02:36 PM

                                      That was my feeling too, and I had both of those predictions as well. Sigh.

                                      1. re: sgordon
                                        f
                                        fm1963 Sep 30, 2011 06:04 PM

                                        Shelazeh had one star last but is on the BG list this year. Perhaps a demotion of sorts?

                                    2. re: sgordon
                                      Bob Martinez Sep 29, 2011 11:46 AM

                                      A few things stand out.

                                      First, the Michelin folks have fallen out of love with BBQ. Blue Smoke, Daisy May's, and Dinosaur, which appeared on the 2011 BG list, have all been thrown off the bus.

                                      Second, this list continues to be hit or miss. The fact that Al Di La doesn't rate a BG is beyond perverse. I'm sure you can supply your own examples of obvious omissions and inexplicable additions.

                                      Finally, to the point of being stupefyingly obvious, Michelin knows fuck all about Asian cuisines outside of Japanese. Sripraphai is absent for the 3rd straight year. (Yes, they rightfully added Ayada but that doesn't make up for it. The sloppily run Zaab Elee makes the list.) Also missing are Spicy & Tasty and Lan Sheng, both of them far better than the newly added Great Sichuan. And they couldn't find a single branch of the Grand Sichuan International chain worthy of a BG? Really?

                                      Their aversion to Indian cuisine has become legendary. Not a single Indian restaurant rates a BG - not Devi, not Tulsi, not Dhaba. Maybe the newly opened Tulsi will sneak it's way on to the starred list but I wouldn't bet on it.

                                      -----
                                      Daisy May's BBQ
                                      623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                                      Devi
                                      8 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                      Blue Smoke
                                      116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                                      Dhaba
                                      108 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016

                                      Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
                                      777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

                                      Lan Sheng
                                      60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

                                      Great Sichuan
                                      363 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                      Tulsi
                                      211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                                      Zabb Elee
                                      75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                      1. re: Bob Martinez
                                        biondanonima Sep 29, 2011 12:12 PM

                                        Yes, I was very surprised not to see Sripraphai, as well as the glaring omissions from Flushing. Indian, too. At least Queens is on there, though - the whole borough might as well not exist when it comes to most "best of" lists.

                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                          Winterpool Sep 29, 2011 12:14 PM

                                          I presumed certain restaurants weren't included under Bib Gourmand because they cost too much, but given the contortions necessary to come within BG budget at some of the listed restaurants, now I'm not so sure. This may again illustrate that Michelin does not consistently observe its own ratings criteria...

                                          Given the recent @MichelinGuideNY Twitter debacle, does anyone believe the inspectors do visit all these restaurants every year?

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez
                                            sgordon Sep 29, 2011 12:17 PM

                                            I don't want to get on them about omissions... yet. We don't know what might show up on the starred list. Maybe, finally, Devi gets in there? Or Tulsi? I doubt it, given their history with Indian cuisine, but you never know... prior to last year you could say they knew fuck-all about Japanese cuisine, but a couple of (deserving) upgrades to two stars for Soto and Kajitsu gave the impression they were expanding their scope a little. Maybe Chinese will make it this year? Oriental Garden, South China Garden, and a couple others made the BG list... maybe Ping's, noticeably absent, will get a star? (Again, I doubt it...)

                                            Could be Al Di La got the upgrade, as well. I've never been the biggesat fan of them, but I know a number of people dig 'em.

                                            Personally, hoping Aquavit gets back on the one-star list. I think after some growing pains, Jernmark's menu is getting better and better. And hey, it's right in their Midtown preferred territory.

                                            -----
                                            Aquavit
                                            65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

                                            Soto
                                            357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

                                            South China Garden
                                            22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                                            Oriental Garden
                                            14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

                                            Ping's
                                            22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                                            Kajitsu
                                            414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                                            Tulsi
                                            211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                                            1. re: sgordon
                                              biondanonima Sep 29, 2011 01:01 PM

                                              Aquavit was certainly deserving of a star (or maybe two) when I ate there a few years ago - I haven't been back since Jernmark took over though. The menu does look intriguing, however. I'll have to put it on my list to repeat soon.

                                              -----
                                              Aquavit
                                              65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

                                            2. re: Bob Martinez
                                              loratliff Sep 30, 2011 02:37 PM

                                              Wasn't Surya (Indian place on Bleecker Street) on the BG list last year? Interesting that it dropped.

                                              -----
                                              Surya
                                              302 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                              1. re: loratliff
                                                f
                                                fm1963 Sep 30, 2011 05:40 PM

                                                Surya is still on this year's list, along with Saravanaas.

                                                1. re: fm1963
                                                  Bob Martinez Oct 4, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                  Might as well take this opportunity to fess up that I missed both those places in my earlier rant. They've been on the Michelin BG list for years.

                                                  Tulsi got a star this year. Good for them.

                                                  -----
                                                  Tulsi
                                                  211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                    h
                                                    H Manning Oct 4, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                    Junoon and Tamarind got stars as well. I don't think Indian food is neglected at all.

                                                    -----
                                                    Junoon
                                                    27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                                                    1. re: H Manning
                                                      Bob Martinez Oct 4, 2011 08:53 PM

                                                      Junoon and Tamarind are brand new stars. They were never on the list before. Together with Tulsi, that makes three. The previous record for Indian stars was only one.

                                                      -----
                                                      Tulsi
                                                      211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                                                      Junoon
                                                      27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                                          2. sgordon Sep 29, 2011 07:40 AM

                                            There was a long thread about last year's Michelin picks. But yeah, they're a bit of a joke, and I think for the most part they're not taken as seriously as they were in the past. Sure, some (older) tourists rely on them, or on Zagat, but I think more and more in the era of the internet are actually doing a bit of research regarding where to spend their high-end dining dollars.

                                            There's no question that the Michelin NYC critics are Francophiles, and until very recently showed a shocking lack of knowledge about any Asian cuisine, though with the elevation of Soto and Kajitsu last year to the two-star club it seems they've started to expand their horizons to Japan, at least. Chinese cuisine, though, is SOL. I find it hard to believe that not one restaurant in Chinatown is "a very good restaurant in it's category" - but my guess is that most Michelin NYC critics have never set foot below 14th Street, let alone in Chinatown.

                                            Their opinions regarding Italian food are a bit odd. They like Michael "Midtown Mario" White, but they don't much like Mario "Actual Mario" Batali, that's clear. Babbo didn't even rank, while Alto (really!?) and Marea both got two stars last year. I suspect Ai Fiori will replace the shuttered Alto on the two-star list this year. But there's a reason for that, I think... Geography.

                                            It brings up the other, less commented on quirk of Michelin NYC: how Midtown-centric it is. As I noted last year, every single three-star and half of the two-stars are within ten blocks of Central Park South. Their three-star list is bascially the NYT four-star list... only leaving out the two four-star restaurants outside that geographic box.

                                            They're also quite slow on change - a new place that gets a lot of hype will take a couple years to finally show up. Especially if it's outside their Midtown zone, and god help them if they're in Brooklyn. Any two-star that's dropped in quality will likely take years to fall to one. I mean, did anyone think Gordon Ramsey at The London was a two-star last year? It probably will be again this year.

                                            It's really nothing to be taken seriously, but of course there'll be hot debates next week when the lists come out.

                                            -----
                                            Soto
                                            357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

                                            Babbo
                                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                            Kajitsu
                                            414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                                            Marea
                                            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                            Ai Fiori
                                            400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: sgordon
                                              u
                                              uwsister Sep 29, 2011 08:07 AM

                                              They did give Brooklyn Fare two stars pretty quickly though, huh? Perhaps to make up for neglecting Brooklyn for years.

                                              1. re: sgordon
                                                Winterpool Sep 29, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                Ah, yes, I do wonder if Ai Fiori will earn a star or two. It certainly has the layers of staff (and flowers) that bespeak 'Michelin'. The food seems a solid one-star to me (perhaps two by NY standards, but I don't really think so).

                                                My great hope, of course, is that Michelin will recognise the effort and $ put in by Eleven Madison Park to advance into the top ranks. It shot up quite a bit on the San Pellegrino -Restaurant- magazine list.

                                                -----
                                                Eleven Madison Park
                                                11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                                                Ai Fiori
                                                400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                                              2. f
                                                fm1963 Sep 29, 2011 05:29 AM

                                                Timely thread. The Bib Gourmand picks for NYC just came out:
                                                http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/09/...

                                                The 2012 Michelin stars will be announced on Oct. 4.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: fm1963
                                                  i
                                                  InfoMofo Sep 29, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                  It's an interesting list, but if their criteria is "two courses and wine or dessert for $40 a head" I think that is a stretch for most of these.

                                                  I notice a lot of these places are "small plates" places. While it's true you could order 2 plates at Robataya or Boqueria and squeak by under 40 bucks, you would not have had a filling meal there.

                                                  I would grudgingly say it's actually a pretty decently curated list though.

                                                  -----
                                                  Boqueria
                                                  53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                  Robataya NY
                                                  231 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                  1. re: InfoMofo
                                                    k
                                                    kathryn Sep 30, 2011 05:00 PM

                                                    Daisy May's is hit or miss, dependent upon what you get, and the service is poor.

                                                    Fatty Cue $40 for 2 courses + 1 glass wine is unrealistic. Prune is too pricey for this list also.

                                                    202 has CLOSED (hello, fact checkers)!

                                                    Zabb Elee should be there if Zabb Queens is on there.

                                                    And Golden Unicorn & Jaiya? I don't think they merit inclusion. My meals there have been fine but nothing special.

                                                    -----
                                                    Golden Unicorn
                                                    18 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                                                    Jaiya
                                                    396 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                                    Zabb Elee
                                                    75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                    1. re: kathryn
                                                      f
                                                      fm1963 Sep 30, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                      Both the East Village and Queens locations of Zabb Elee are on the list.

                                                      The most egregious omission was Motorino, considering that Keste was included. Tori Shin was also dropped. But I'm glad that Jean Claude, Rubirosa, Hung Ry, and Congee Village were recognized.

                                                      -----
                                                      Congee Village
                                                      100 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

                                                      Jean Claude
                                                      137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                      Motorino
                                                      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                      Hung Ry
                                                      55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

                                                      Rubirosa
                                                      235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                                                      Zabb Elee
                                                      75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                      1. re: fm1963
                                                        k
                                                        kathryn Sep 30, 2011 06:36 PM

                                                        Odd, it wasn't when I looked at the Eater.com link this morning!

                                                        Motorino is indeed an egregious omission.

                                                        -----
                                                        Motorino
                                                        349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                        1. re: kathryn
                                                          hcbk0702 Sep 30, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                          Motorino was a Bib Gourmand in last year's guide; looks like Michelin consciously dropped them this year, perhaps in response to the Brooklyn location's closure.

                                                          Tori Shin is probably too expensive to be a Bib Gourmand. Not sure why it was there in the first place.

                                                          -----
                                                          Motorino
                                                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                          1. re: kathryn
                                                            p
                                                            peter j Oct 3, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                            I think you were looking at the 2011 BG and not the 2012 list.

                                                            202 is not on the current list.

                                                  2. kosmose7 Sep 28, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                    I do not rely on Michelin guide when it comes to New York restaurants. Zagat, The New York Times, and "Chowhound" are some of my most referred sources. :)

                                                    1. r
                                                      Ricky Sep 28, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                      Tocqueville should definitely earn a star or two, as well as 15 East.

                                                      My head scratchers
                                                      Sushi of Gari
                                                      Jewel Bako
                                                      Laut
                                                      Public
                                                      Avoce
                                                      Aureole
                                                      Gilt
                                                      Momofuku Ko

                                                      -----
                                                      15 East
                                                      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                                      Tocqueville
                                                      1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                                      A Voce
                                                      41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                      Aureole
                                                      135 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

                                                      Gari
                                                      370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                                                      Jewel Bako
                                                      239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                      Public
                                                      210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                      Momofuku Ko
                                                      163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                      Gilt
                                                      455 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022

                                                      Laut
                                                      15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Ricky
                                                        loratliff Sep 28, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                        Laut was the biggest head-scratcher for me too. Public is deserving of its star, in my opinion, but I admittedly haven't eaten at any of the others you've named. I also think that EMP is 2- or 3-star food.

                                                        -----
                                                        Eleven Madison Park
                                                        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                                                        Public
                                                        210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                        Laut
                                                        15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                        1. re: loratliff
                                                          r
                                                          Ricky Sep 29, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                          I used to like Public alot, but I have eaten there recently, and I feel like the food wasnt as good as it once was.

                                                      2. Wilfrid Sep 28, 2011 11:38 AM

                                                        There's not much to discuss. The Michelin Guide is not competent. In the first NYC edition, remember, Shea Gallante was a woman. If it has improved, it's not by much. Don't use it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Wilfrid
                                                          salvati Sep 28, 2011 03:59 PM

                                                          I agree. Michelin is totally out of date, poorly written, and not worth a penny. It just doesn't work for NYcC And soon it won't work anywhere. .You learn absolutely nothing about the restaurant after reading a Michelin review.

                                                        2. Winterpool Sep 28, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                          There is what Michelin claims, and then there is what empirical evidence suggests may be Michelin's reality...

                                                          For instance, very few people believe Michelin awards stars based solely on the cuisine (and I'm reluctant to believe 'value for money' somehow figures into it). Especially in European cities, very few restaurants seem to rate even one star unless they're fairly posh (bistros and brasseries, no matter how good, rarely win stars). New York seems a little different, especially when it comes to one-stars...

                                                          You'll find plenty of discussion here and on other sites questioning Michelin's authority and taste (sometimes even their honesty). Michelin is often accused of being Francocentric, bourgeois, and behind-the-times. There's also a widespread belief that Michelin's rating standards in the US do not seem comparable to their European guides.

                                                          That said, I'd say Eleven Madison Park deserves a Michelin star on either side of the pond -- and definitely at least two stars, maybe three, by their NY standards.

                                                          -----
                                                          Eleven Madison Park
                                                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                                                          1. p
                                                            peter j Sep 28, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                            From what I gather, Michelin is about food and consistency, and not about service and decor. The one stars are pretty questionable, but I agree with the two and three stars for the most part (though both of those lists could be trimmed of one or two restaurants). I like Daniel so I guess we disagree on that point.

                                                            In NYC. Michelin is biased towards high end French and Japanese. Farm to table and New American don't fare as well with the rankings. Otherwise, I think it's pretty reliable for upscale dinners and like the fact that Michelin revises its ratings every year.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: peter j
                                                              biondanonima Sep 28, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                              I didn't dislike Daniel, but I don't think they came close to EMP (or Del Posto) in the service department, nor do I think they came close to their 3-star peer Per Se (in any department). In my opinion, Per Se is really in a league of its own (although I haven't dined at Masa) and is probably the only restaurant I've ever been too that I would describe as a three-star experience. Personally, I would put Daniel, EMP, Del Posto and probably Jean Georges all in the two-star category - this is based on my limited experience, though. Others who have dined at these places more regularly over the years may have different impressions.

                                                              -----
                                                              Per Se
                                                              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                              Eleven Madison Park
                                                              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                                                              Jean Georges
                                                              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                                              Del Posto
                                                              85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                              Masa
                                                              10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                                              1. re: peter j
                                                                f
                                                                fooder Sep 28, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                                How exactly is consistency measured anymore? Is there a minimum to how many meals a critic must eat before an opinion is formed? Or do they just collate a bunch of different reports from different people? Are critics assigned to restaurants?
                                                                This was one of the big questions raised regarding the San Pellegrino rankings. With an aim to reporting only on restaurants that were frequented within 18 months, I wonder how many of the voting journalists actually ate at El Bulli?

                                                              2. linguafood Sep 28, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                I'm mystified that Convivio has two Michelin stars. I was thoroughly underwhelmed with my meal there. Not to sound like a Euro-snob (even tho I probably do), but that place would not get a single star if it were in Europe.

                                                                -----
                                                                Convivio
                                                                45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                  biondanonima Sep 28, 2011 10:33 AM

                                                                  Convivio is now closed, as is Alto, which was previously a two-star. I never dined at Convivio, but I was totally underwhelmed by Alto the one time I ate there. I can't imagine it having one star, let alone two - especially in comparison to the other one and two stars on the list.

                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/din...

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Alto
                                                                  11 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

                                                                  1. re: biondanonima
                                                                    u
                                                                    uwsister Sep 29, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                                    Alto is/was one of the reasons why I don't rely on Michelin stars. "I can't imagine it having one star, let alone two" - that's exactly how my husband and I felt. So underwhelming. Somebody please tell me Marea is much, much better? We're planning a lunch there soon.

                                                                    1. re: uwsister
                                                                      n
                                                                      nmprisons Sep 29, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                      I think Marea is better, but certainly not two-star material either (in my opinion). It lacks the consistency across the menu necessary to feel comfortable that those you recommend it to will have a memorable meal.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Marea
                                                                      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                                                      1. re: nmprisons
                                                                        sgordon Sep 29, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                                        Marea is a two-starrer... until you get to the secondi. The antipasti and pastas are top-notch, but after that point in the meal something just seems to fall off. Caveat: haven't been in some time, entrees might have gotten better.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Marea
                                                                        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                                                        1. re: sgordon
                                                                          n
                                                                          nmprisons Sep 29, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                          I completely agree.

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