In europe there are the exact same discussions about the michelin ratings: "how can you put elegant restaurant X in the same categorie as casual bistro Y?"
But as someone pointed out: it's the knifes and forks that mark the difference - and michelin states very clearly that one should not expect the same dining experience in a restauarnt with 1 knife&fork and 2 stars and a restaurant with 4 knifes&forks and 2 stars.
Problem in europe (especially in germany) is: the prices in michelin-starred restaurants are the same, no matter the number of knifes&forks. Or in other words: you should maybe not expect the same dining standard in a 1knife&fork-place - but you can very well expect the same prices as in restaurant with 4 or 5...
One other thing, since it was mentioned here as reason for less stars for some places: I can not understand -and Iam not willing to accept- the multiple seating-policies of many american fine-dining places. I mean: if I spend 300-400$ on a dinner for two, I can damn well expect not to be thrown out after 2 1/2 hours...
In europe this is totally unthinkable (even in a casual bistro) and the restaurant-owners do very well nevertheless - even though they pay for the service-crew themselves...which could lead us to the questionable US-tipping-politics (which might be a reason for the multiple seatings as well...).
So, if michelin decides not to award such restaurants multiple stars (with execptions to the rule), they are very right, in my opinion.
But maybe someone can explain to me, why american gourmets accept multiple seating so readily.
Edited by kai-m, 04 October 2006 - 04:35 AM.