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Michelin Guide to New York est arrivé!


oakapple
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Per Snack, here they are:

Three Stars

Alain Ducasse

Jean-Georges

Le Bernardin

Per Se

Two Stars

Bouley

Daniel

Danube

Masa

One Star

Annisa

Aureole

Babbo

BLT Fish

Café Boulud

Café Gray

Craft

Cru

Etats-Unis

Fiamma Osteria

Fleur de Sel

Gotham Bar and Grill

Gramercy Tavern

JoJo

Jewel Bako

La Goulue

Lever House

Lo Scalco

March

Nobu

Oceana

Peter Luger

Picholine

Saul

Scalini Fedeli

Spotted Pig

The Modern

Veritas

Vong

Wallsé

WD-50

It strikes me as a very conservative list at the two- and three-star levels. The one-star choices are very eclectic. Some of these could reasonably hope to gain a second star eventually.

It is not a happy day for Daniel Boulud. David Bouley, Eric Ripert, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten probably feel pretty good about this outcome. Has anyone been conspicuously slighted? Chanterelle and L'Impero/Alto come immediately to mind.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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|I rad an interview with the head of Michelin a couple of months ago and they said that they had found a distinct gap between one and 3 star level that wasn't consistent with other Michelin guide countries. Very strange to have as many 3* as 2* restaurants. Does a steakhouse such as Lugers really warrant a Michelin Star?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Very strange to have as many 3* as 2* restaurants. Does a steakhouse such as Lugers really warrant a Michelin Star?

Why would you treat steakhouses as a second-class restaurant genre? Bearing in mind that the Guide Michelin is a travel guide, and many international visitors probably don't have an abundance of U.S.-style steakhouses at home, I see nothing wrong with singling out what the Michelin inspectors considered to be the best of the pack. Whether Luger in fact is that special steakhouse is a whole other question, but as a matter of principle I see no objection to it.

Yes, it is very strange to have as many 3* as 2* restaurants, but as I mentioned in my earlier post, I suspect that will shake out in later years.

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The criteria used by the Michelin guide will remain an inscrutable mystery to me.

There's nothing wrong with your point of view, oakapple, were it not that it's not what the Michelin does in other countries.

Luger and Cru a Michelin star. Well, I suppose that a guide which just would warrant a handful of stars would be a complete sales failure.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Per Snack, here they are:

Three Stars

Alain Ducasse

Jean-Georges

Le Bernardin

Per Se

...

It strikes me as a very conservative list at the two- and three-star levels. The one-star choices are very eclectic. Some of these could reasonably hope to gain a second star eventually.

It is not a happy day for Daniel Boulud. David Bouley, Eric Ripert, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten probably feel pretty good about this outcome. Has anyone been conspicuously slighted? Chanterelle and L'Impero/Alto come immediately to mind.

Just another country and another continent where the Michelin list isn't my list. The interesting thing is to realize just how much perhaps we've let Michelin influence our thinking about French cuisine and choice of restaurants in France. Our opinions have, I suspect, always been tempered by knowing the star level in advance of a meal. Based on our tastes and experiences, I find a good part of this list to be rather bizarre, but no more out of kilter with our experience in Spain or more recently in Italy.

My guess is that Daniel was hurt by the sheer number of covers they serve an evening. Whether the numbers alone prejudiced the inspectors into believing they couldn't maintain consistency, whether they found inconsistency or were simply offended by the number of times a new table was seated are things we can only speculate about. The one stars seem a particular hodge podge of choices. Blue Hill, one of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan along with Daniel, Cafe Boulud and WD-50, is most conspicuous by its absence, imho. We took vserna, a member here and a Spanish critic and journalist on food and wine, to Blue Hill when he was in NY promoting his own wine. (He's also a winemaker.) He went to Craft on his own. He wrote about the restaurants he visited in the US in an El Mundo (Madrid) travel supplement. His comments on Blue Hill couldn't have been more glowingly positive. I suspect he won't be disappointed given what he's had to say about Michelin in the Spain forum.

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I actually think the list is pretty reasonable, at least as far as the restaurants I have experienced. Daniel's absence as a 3* is notable as is Chanterelle's complete absence. It seems as if Chanterelle has fallen into disfavor in recent years for some reason. It has been awhile since I was there. I enjoyed it then.

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Re: Spotted Pig, I thought the same thing. Good for them though. I've really enjoyed the food there. The one stars seem kind of Zagatesque in their randomness or comparisons between strikingly different dining experiences.

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Vong?

very surprising....interesting that they picked it and not Spice Market or Perry Street...a mixed result for JG in that respect.

I'm not familiar with La Goulue or Lo Scalco (though its menu looks ambitious enough). Saul I hadn't heard of and a look at its menu puts it in a significantly lower price range than the other solo stars. Interesting that one non-Manhattan restaurant made the list.

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I am very surprised to see Vong in there and Sugiyama excluded. It's always tell what criteria they use for some Asian restaurants, but at first glance it's one of the things that surprised me the most.

Arley Sasson

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Can a starred-restaurant receive a Bib as well? Saul has a $30 fixed price menu for dinners Monday-Thursday I believe - probably one of the least expensive MIchelin-starred meals you can get.

That said, I've always felt that they were certainly above their other Smith Street companions, and it's time they've been recognized.

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I wonder how this list will achieve any relevance. A person expecting a Michelin three-star experience is going to be pretty surprised by Le Bernardin. And it's not like a single one of the well-informed gourmets here is saying "Wow! Great choices by Michelin! This list is so much better than the New York Times or Zagat!" Rather, it seems like a standard selection of luxury places at the top plus an inexplicably weird mixed bag of one-star places. It all feels like a big "So what?"

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Was any other result possible?

We always knew what the 2 and 3 star places would be, the only question was which would be which. There just aren't any other possibilities.

Which means that the 1 stars were going to be a grab-bag by definition. I have to say that if they'd picked a Sriphathai instead of a Vong that might have made some waves....on the other hand, the omission of the Nobus, Megus, Spice Markets, Bolos, etc. made some points....(and the right one in my book).

Some overlooked restaurants made this list and in that sense they did a service: Etats-Unis, JoJo, March, Picholine.

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I'm not surprised that Daniel did not make three stars, but rather that JG, and especially LB, did.

With the exception of Spotted Pig, I think they did pretty well with the one stars. Great to see that Flay was snubbed, and Asian fusion for the most part as well.

It has been a while since I've been there, but I found Felidia to be superior to Scalini.

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This is what I see:

Michelin inspectors have divided up the restaurants into two categories - ONE STAR and BETTER THAN ONE STAR.

The two star category seems to say to me - These did not make three stars because of something but are better than one star. I would venture a guess - Lack of consistency in the two star restaurants (I have been to all four) might have been the issue separating them from the top tier. If they were to move Le Bernardin to the two star category, I would say my hypothesis gets even stronger.

The one star is necessarily a hodge podge category where the restaurants all have something strong to recommend them (caveat - I have not been to all of them) but fall short on other criteria preventing them from rising up to the next level.

Other comments -

NOT surprised to see Flay absent from the list.

Surprised to see Gotham Bar and Grill and Gramercy Tavern on the list.

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[...]Which means that the 1 stars were going to be a grab-bag by definition.  I have to say that if they'd picked a Sriphathai instead of a Vong that might have made some waves....

Can you think of any similarly non-luxe restaurants in any other place that have gotten a star from Michelin? I tend to think that luxury is too important to their set of criteria for such an informal place to ever get a star, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I want to know which restaurants got bibs gourmands from Michelin and which are listed without stars.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Well, Luger's is pretty informal, though heavily accoladed.

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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Pan, agreed, but my point was that for them to rock the boat they would have had to do something like that. Otherwise the list was inherently predictable. If you think about it, there is more consensus than not (between egullet, the Times and Michelin) as to what the top 30 or so restaurants in NY are. What's interesting about the Michelin list are the couple that might not have overlapped with most people's lists (Etats Unis, Saul, and Vong -- which I don't get).

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My feeling is that it's all relative, almost as if the exercise exists in a vacuum. What has happened is that Michelin decided to take its 70-year old star nomenclature and export it to New York, but without any relevance to how it has developed its patina of reputation and notoriety in Europe. To older, seasoned gastronomes it most likely will feel empty except as this is the way Michelin inspectors feel about a given New York restaurant vis a vis the other New York restaurants the guide lists (and it's hard to express feelings or opinions in a Michelin rating). Anyone who takes any of the three-star restaurants in the New York Michelin list and thinks that means it compares favorably to Arpege, el Bulli, or Le Calendre is wildly mistaken. Until chefs in New York solve the produce shortcomings and the greed factor, favorable comparisons along that line can't happen.

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The Michelin folks said all along that some changes to the format and rating structure were required for a non-European city. We haven't seen the book yet, so we don't know how they've explained themselves. We do know that the book contains more detailed descriptions of the restaurants than the European guides.

Fat Guy said, "I wonder how this list will achieve any relevance....So what?" Well, I have a few thoughts.

Zagat will remain the most popular New York restaurant guide, but Michelin could be a strong second. It will be influential with business travelers and the well heeled international visitors that many high-end restaurants are courting. Restaurants will incorporate their Michelin star status in their publicity.

The NYT stars will continue to have cachet, but Michelin has further refined that list, since there are many restaurants with NYT stars that Michelin hasn't annointed. Over time, Michelin may be more sensitive to change, since their inspectors can re-rate restaurants far more often than the Times can. Out-of-town visitors are more likely to consult a guidebook than to read the Times online.

Among the eight restaurants that were awarded two or three stars, Danube is the clear winner. It's the one non-obvious choice at that level. All of the others are now rated four stars by the Times, or were recently. This is vindication for David Bouley, and I suspect Danube will have more business because of it.

Although Daniel Boulud is no doubt unhappy, I doubt that this will cost his restaurant any business; it's mostly a case of wounded pride. Meanwhile, other restaurants that are arguably in Danube's class will no doubt say, "Why not us?" The new ratings clearly leave room for more two-star restaurants, and these other restaurants will be trying to make their case next time An Inspector Calls.

The one-star list obviously does not equate to one NYT star. It's an eclectic "best of the rest" list, and certainly defensible. These restaurants will see an influx of tourist business, although there are some (like Nobu) that don't need it.

The Spotted Pig was the only entry that struck me as decidedly peculiar, but we'll have to see how the editors have defined "one star." As far as I know, it's the only restaurant on the list that the Times considered a "$25 and under" place. However, depending on how Michelin defined the category, Spotted Pig might well belong on the list.

To reiterate my earlier comment, Chanterelle and L'Impero are the most obvious omissions. I've dined at Chanterelle within the last year. It certainly did not seem to be below the class of restaurants such as Aureole, Gotham, JoJo, March, Picholine, Scalini Fedeli, Wallsé, etc.. It is arguably better than several of those.

Danny Meyer is probably not celebrating tonight. Gramercy Tavern made the list, but not the Union Square flagship, Tabla (nor any Indian restaurant), or 11MP. I suspect he at least fancied the hope that Modern would break in at two stars.

That said, any such list is going to involve judgment. This list is one of the many reasonable ones you could have drawn up. Those restaurants that earned any number of stars — one, two, or three — will probably see a noticeable uptick in business. For those that weren't already packed, it could make a meaningful difference.

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