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Nov 13, 2013 12:15 AM

If Washington has michelin stars

what would be starred

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  1. If you are looking for exclusivity, then the only answer to your question is Minibar. With only 18 seats, an almost impossible reservation (though used to be harder with only 6 seats; they recently expanded.)

    Link to their website (reservation by email only):

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Exclusivity is not a criterion for the Michelin rankings.

      One star: "A very good restaurant in its category" ("Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie")
      Two stars: "Excellent cooking, worth a detour" ("Table excellente, mérite un détour")

      Three stars: "Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey" ("Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage")

      I wish they would add consistency. So many DC restaurants are brilliant for a few months and then slide into mediocrity and fade away or are wildly uneven.

      1. re: Just Visiting

        Every restaurant I recommend is "A very good restaurant in its category," That goes without saying. Or so I thought.

        In the absence of stars, I was trying to be helpful in pointing out an experience (albeit très cher) that might receive stars in the future. The restaurant underwent extensive renovation since the last published list and the reviewers could not have considered it in its present form.

        Anyway, the OP can always glean more info from the website and other sources.

        1. re: Steve

          The reviewers could not have reviewed it in its past form or its present form because Michelin does not review restaurants in Washington, D.C. Just NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco.

    2. Komi and Rogue 24 would be starred in my estimation. Possibly Fiola and CityZen.

      1. I would imagine Marcel's would also be starred. And Restaurant Eve.

        9 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          I keep on getting told by chefs that the service is part of the criteria when its not. They only judge the food.

          1. re: Chadsie

            "They only judge the food..."

            Actually, that's not quite true. There are other requirements that have to do with the décor/equipment. For example, the napkins must be a certain minimum size and a certain weight of cloth. The amount of cutlery for a place setting is also regimented.

            The Harwood Arms is a pub in London that is a Michelin one- star. If you look at the photographs of the place, you can see that the tables are bare wood, but the napkins at each place setting are rolls of good-quality cloth. (Look at photograph 2. The thickness of the folded hem tells me how much heft the cloth has.)

            1. re: Indy 67

              The stars are about the food. The couvert (the crossed fork-and-spoons) are about the service, ambiance, and comfort. One being the lowest, four the highest, and, if in red, exceptional.

              1. re: Just Visiting

                Thanks for the clarification about the stars VS the couvert symbol, but I believe a restaurant won't even be considered for Michelin status unless it includes some very specific items -- the napkin standards being one of the more memorable. I've read too many articles by Michelin-league chefs who talk about the napkin requirement to think it is simply urban legend.

          2. re: ktmoomau

            i imagine they are already eligible. In principle there is nothing stopping Michelin from already awarding these restaurants stars.

            It's a very exclusive club, and I don't know how they decide these things. The idea that there is not a single 'very good' restaurant in DC is preposterous. But that is the way it is; it's their system. Make of it what you will.

            1. re: Steve

              Michelin only started rating U.S. restaurants in 2005. They chose to start in NYC and then added San Francisco and Chicago. They don't rate restaurants in DC. So it isn't that they haven't found one that merits one or more stars. It is that they aren't reviewing restaurants here at all.

              1. re: Just Visiting

                I am thinking of san fran , Chicago , New York that all have Michelin stars any other cities I should add.

                1. re: Chadsie

                  I guess I don't understand your question. What do you mean "any other cities I should add"? You just responded to a post that says that in the U.S., Michelin only reviews restaurants in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Do you think I'm fibbing? In error? Just wrong? OK, let's use the internet...the wikipedia page says that they had once also done Las Vegas and Los Angeles but those have both been suspended since 2008. So for now, it is just NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco.

                  You could go directly to the Michelin site for North America:


                  You will see that there are guides only for these three cities.

            2. Here's the current NYC 3-star list:

              Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
              Eleven Madison Park
              Jean Georges
              Le Bernardin
              Per Se

              What does DC have in that category in terms of creativity and brilliance of cooking? Maybe Restaurant Eve or CityZen. Yes, Minibar, but for the food, not the craziness that goes with trying to get a seat. From what I hear, Little Serow. If you include Frederick, then Volt.

              I have been to Gramercy Tavern and (just tonight) Craft. It is hard to think of any other places that have that level of professionalism in all regards - food, service, decor, wine list...Ashok Bajaj has all but the food - it is always good but not quite there.

              I look at the one star list - wow. Gramercy Tavern is only one star. Blue Hill. Babbo. Bouley. Spotted Pig. Tamarind Tribeca. And wd-50. These are all fantastic restaurants.

              Now ask yourself - what do we have that is in the 1-star category? Not much. So don't expect much in the 2- or 3-star.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Just Visiting

                "What does DC have in that category in terms of creativity and brilliance of cooking?"

                There is creativity and brilliance, but not always 'in that category.'

                I put the Lao menu at Bangkok Golden above Minibar, Rogue 24, Little Serow, Cityzen, and anything expensive I've eaten in DC for the last 34 odd years. Add to that with a touch of advanced planning you can get Chef Seng to prepare any number of custom dishes, then it's not even close. I could easily say the same thing for Grace Garden. Once you get the chef to cook for you with some advanced conversation, it simply slays all the others mentioned here.

                With no advance notice I'd still prefer a meal at Joe's Noodle House or Oohhs and Aahhs.

                1. re: Steve

                  Steve - Have you organized a chowhound meal at Bangkok Golden?

                  1. re: shake N baik

                    Yes, a couple of times. And I am all ready to do it again if there is demand.

                      1. re: shake N baik

                        I keep an e-mail list and usually do the planning offline. Send me a PM (my email is in my profile) and I'll put your name on the list. This is open to anyone reading this...

              2. I am going to Chicago, New York and San Fran. I know the guide is not produced anywhere else but IF it was where would it be where is great dining in North America. They are three cities in the USA I am sure Michelin is looking at other cities so I am wondering what would those cities be

                2 Replies
                1. re: Chadsie

                  You asked "any other cities I should add." Not that Michelin should add. If that is what you were wondering, then the question would have been "any other cities *they* should add?"

                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    they should ask for the cities so I should add them to the route.