Entries in Michelin (7)

Tuesday
Oct012013

Michelin New York 2014 Ratings

The Michelin New York 2012 ratings were announced this afternoon. As always, we’re back with our tabular listing, after the jump, of the stars from 2006 (the first year) to the present.

There are fewer “head-scratchers” this year — actually, no new stars that seem completely ridiculous, like Shalizar in 2010 or Heartbreak in 2012. There are a few hold-overs, like Jewel Bako, that some people violently disagree with, but I don’t consider that as bad—if “bad” it is—as a new error, and there aren’t a lot of those.

Most of the city’s professional critics hate the Michelin ratings. They don’t want to admit that a French tire company is as good at it as they are. The fact is, all of the pro critics get restaurants wrong; sometimes, ridiculously so. Unlike Michelin, they practically never revisit their errors.

To give a couple of examples: Jonathan Benno’s Lincoln Ristorante had a terrible start in the fall of 2011. Most of the early reviews were lukewarm. Those critics are probably never going back. It’s not that they’re cruel or stubborn: they just don’t have the mandate to keep re-checking their old reviews. Lincoln now has a Michelin star. The tire guide was able to recognize the improvement. The pro critics couldn’t.

Picholine was demoted in 2012 from two Michelin stars to one, and this year from one star to zero, reflecting the restaurant’s decline. The New York Times? The best they can do is Frank Bruni’s three-star review from 2006, not likely to be updated anytime soon.

Many people found Gordon Ramsay’s previous two-star rating incomprehensible, but no local critic had reviewed it in years. People who said the rating was wrong had no clue. How could they? Anyhow, this year it suffered a rare demotion from two stars to zero. Given the restaurant’s recent troubles, it is no surprise.

Of course, there are individual Michelin ratings I disagree with. No one could construct such a list and please everybody; my list no doubt would displease some of you. But by and large it’s a more accurate list than any professional critic in this city can produce, simply because the pro critics spend so much of their time at restaurants that are brand new, and have only rare opportunities to revisit them.

The summary is below, the tabular listing after the jump.

Promotions:

  • Jungsik, from one tar to two

Star Regained:

  • Babbo, from zero stars to one (last starred in 2008). I am not sure what cost Babbo its star in 2009, or what changed to get it back again.

Demotions: (not counting closed restaurants)

  • Gordon Ramsay at the London, from two stars to zero.
  • Picholine, from one star to zero.

Starred in First Year Eligible:

  • Aska
  • Carbone
  • Ichimura at Brushstroke
  • Le Restaurant
  • The Musket Room

The top three received multiple favorable reviews from the professional critics. The latter two have not, but they’re not complete head-scratchers like some of the Tire Man’s past star awards.

Other Restaurants Starred for the First Time:

  • Caviar Russe. Probably the most surprising newly-starred place, but this restaurant has gone almost totally under the critical radar for years. Who knew?
  • Telepan. Much deserved after all these years.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct042011

Michelin New York 2012 Ratings

The Michelin New York 2012 ratings were announced this afternoon. As always, we’re back with our tabular listing of the stars from 2006 (the first year) to the present. To summarize:

Promotions:

I have no argument with any of these: they are all excellent restaurants. We can only hope that the next New York Times restaurant critic won’t be as clueless about Hergatt as the current one.

Demotions:

  • Picholine was demoted from two stars to one
  • Shalezeh was demoted from one star to none

Shalezeh never deserved a star in the first place, and I have certainly heard reports of a decline at Picholine. I’ve no argument here either.

Starred in First Eligible Year:

All seven of these received good reviews, though Sifton skipped Heartbreak, sending an underling to write an enthusiastic Dining Brief. It is certainly odd that five of the seven are Indo/Asian, including three Indian.

Older Restaurants Starred for the First Time:

I have no idea what changed at these restaurants to suddenly make them star-worthy. Both have been open since around 2006–07. Rosanjin got an enthusiastic deuce from Bruni in 2007; I gave it three in 2008. Tori Shin was never reviewed in the Times, and I had never heard of it until today. In total, seven of the nine new one-star restaurants are Indian or Asian, a peculiar statistic.

The full list is below. See the end of the post for the color key.

Restaurant 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Adour       ** * * *
Ai Fiori             *
Alain Ducasse ***            
Aldea           * *
Allen & Delancey       *      
Alto       * ** **  
Annisa * * * * * * *
Anthos     * * * *  
Aureole * * * * * * *
A Voce Columbus           * *
A Voce Madison   * *   * * *
Babbo * * *        
BLT Fish *            
Blue Hill     * * * * *
Bouley ** ** **   * * *
Breslin, The           * *
Brooklyn Fare           ** ***
Brushstroke             *
Café Boulud * * * * * * *
Café Gray * * *        
Casa Mono         * * *
Convivio         * *  
Corton         ** ** **
Country   * *        
Craft * *          
Cru * * * *      
Daniel ** ** ** ** *** *** ***
Danji             *
Danny Brown           * *
Danube ** * *        
Del Posto   ** ** ** * * *
Dévi   * *        
Dovetail           * *
Dressler     * * * * *
Eighty One       * *    
Eleven Madison Park         * * ***
Etats-Unis * * * * *    
Fiamma (Osteria) * *   *      
Fleur de Sel * * * *      
Gilt     * ** ** ** **
Gotham Bar & Grill * * * * * * *
Gordon Ramsay     ** ** ** ** **
Gramercy Tavern * * * * * * *
Heartbreak             *
Insieme       * *    
Jean Georges *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Jewel Bako * * * * * * *
JoJo *   * *      
Junoon             *
Kajitsu         * ** **
Kyo Ya       * * * *
Kurumazushi   * *        
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon     * * * * **
La Goulue * *          
Le Bernardin *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Laut           * *
Lever House * *          
Lo Scalco *            
Marc Forgione         * * *
March *            
Marea         * ** **
Masa ** ** ** *** *** *** ***
Minetta Tavern         * * *
Modern, The * * * * * * *
Momofuku Ko       ** ** ** **
Nobu *            
Oceana * * * * * * *
Perry St.   * * * *    
Per Se *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Peter Luger * * * * * * *
Picholine * * ** ** ** ** *
Public       * * * *
Rhong-Tiam         *    
River Café         * * *
Rosanjin             *
Rouge Tomate         * * *
Saul * * * * * * *
Scalini Fedeli *            
Seäsonal         * * *
Shalizar/Shalezeh         * *  
SHO Shaun Hergatt         * * **
Soto         * ** **
Spotted Pig * * * * * * *
Sushi Azabu         * * *
Sushi of Gari   * * * * * *
Tamarind Tribeca             *
Tori Shin             *
Tulsi             *
Veritas * * * * * * *
Vong * * *        
Wallsé * * * * * * *
WD~50 * * * * * * *

 

Color Key:

Green: Restaurant promoted, or starred in first year of eligibility
Yellow: Restaurant demoted, but still has at least one star
Red: Restaurant demoted, and now unstarred
Gray: Restaurant closed, moved, or opened too late in year to be rated

Wednesday
Oct062010

Michelin New York 2011 Ratings

The Michelin New York 2011 ratings were announced today. Our full recap of the stars from 2006 to the present is given in the table below (previously: 2009, 2010). Here’s a summary of this year’s changes:

Three-Star Restaurants: The list remains the same as a year ago: Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa, Per Se.

Two-Star Restaurants: All of the previous entrants kept their stars. Kajitsu, Marea, and Soto were promoted from one star to two. Brookyn Fare won two in its first year of eligibility(*). There are now 10 two-star restaurants, up from six a year ago.

One-Star Restaurants:

  • Recognized after being previously unstarred: Aldea, Danny Brown, Dovetail
  • Starred in their first year of eligibility(*): A Voce Columbus, The Breslin, Laut

Demoted Restaurants: Insieme and Perry St. were demoted from one star to none. Insieme lost its chef, so this was not a surprise. At Perry St., Jean-Georges installed his son Cedric as chef, and it seems the Guide is not impressed.

Closed Restaurants: Anthos and Veritas retained their stars, because they closed too late for the guide to be revised. Anthos is closed for good. Veritas is apparently re-opening with a much more casual menu that will probably not be starred.

Restaurant 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Adour       ** * *
Alain Ducasse ***          
Aldea           *
Allen & Delancey       *    
Alto       * ** **
Annisa * * * * * *
Anthos     * * * *
Aureole * * * * * *
A Voce Columbus           *
A Voce Madison   * *   * *
Babbo * * *      
BLT Fish *          
Blue Hill     * * * *
Bouley ** ** **   * *
Breslin, The           *
Brooklyn Fare           **
Café Boulud * * * * * *
Café Gray * * *      
Casa Mono         * *
Convivio         * *
Corton         ** **
Country   * *      
Craft * *        
Cru * * * *    
Daniel ** ** ** ** *** ***
Danny Brown           *
Danube ** * *      
Del Posto   ** ** ** * *
Dévi   * *      
Dovetail           *
Dressler     * * * *
Eighty One       * *  
Eleven Madison Park         * *
Etats-Unis * * * * *  
Fiamma (Osteria) * *   *    
Fleur de Sel * * * *    
Gilt     * ** ** **
Gotham Bar & Grill * * * * * *
Gordon Ramsay     ** ** ** **
Gramercy Tavern * * * * * *
Insieme       * *  
Jean Georges *** *** *** *** *** ***
Jewel Bako * * * * * *
JoJo *   * *    
Kajitsu         * **
Kyo Ya       * * *
Kurumazushi   * *      
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon     * * * *
La Goulue * *        
Le Bernardin *** *** *** *** *** ***
Laut           *
Lever House * *        
Lo Scalco *          
Marc Forgione         * *
March *          
Marea         * **
Masa ** ** ** *** *** ***
Minetta Tavern         * *
Modern, The * * * * * *
Momofuku Ko       ** ** **
Nobu *          
Oceana * * * * * *
Perry St.   * * * *  
Per Se *** *** *** *** *** ***
Peter Luger * * * * * *
Picholine * * ** ** ** **
Public       * * *
Rhong-Tiam         *  
River Café         * *
Rouge Tomate         * *
Saul * * * * * *
Scalini Fedeli *          
Seäsonal         * *
Shalezeh         * *
SHO Shaun Hergatt         * *
Soto         * **
Spotted Pig * * * * * *
Sushi Azabu         * *
Sushi of Gari   * * * * *
Veritas * * * * * *
Vong * * *      
Wallsé * * * * * *
WD~50 * * * * * *

 

Color Key:

Green: Restaurant promoted, or starred in first year of eligibility(*)
Yellow: Restaurant demoted, but still has at least one star
Red: Restaurant demoted, and now unstarred
Gray: Restaurant closed, moved, or opened too late in year to be rated

(*) Note: The “first year of eligibility” is a judgment call, since Michelin does not say how late in the year a restaurant could open, and still be considered for a star. If a restaurant opened after May 1, I assume it was too late to be starred for the following year’s guide.

Tuesday
Oct132009

The Tire Man at Borders

There was a panel discussion last week at Borders TWC, with Danny Meyer, Lee Schrager, Mimi Sheraton, Jean-Luc Naret (head tire man), Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Kate Krader, with Mike Colameco as moderator.

The occasion was the release of the Michelin 2010 ratings for New York, although a wide variety of subjects was touched upon.

Naret shared an anecdote that is relevant to those who find the ratings baffling. A number of years ago, a restaurant opened outside Paris to scathing reviews. A year later, the tire man gave it a star. People came up to him, and said, “How on earth can you give a star there? It’s terrible?”

Naret replied, “Have you gone lately?” The answer, invariably, was no. Either they hadn’t gone at all, or they had gone a long time a go. Of course, his point was to emphasize the value (as he sees it) of a system where the restaurants are re-visited and judged by what they are doing now, not what they are reputed to have done many months or years or ago.

The panel was asked whether restaurants are reviewed too early nowadays. Every one of them said, in different ways, that once you are charging full price, you are fair game to be reviewed. Danny Meyer, however, said that he thinks good restaurants keep getting better and better over time. But Vongerichten said that a restaurant is at its best in the first two months, and thereafter it is a struggle to keep it that way. That is certainly an accurate description of his own places.

Meyer, in a nice way, pointed out the difference between himself and Vongerichten. Meyer hires chefs who stay full-time, or close to full-time, in their kitchens. Vongerichten launches a restaurant and moves on to the next one. He has been remarkably successful at it; however, he clearly has the problem of ensuring quality in kitchens where he is seldom physically present, whereas Meyer hires chefs who stay put.

They all thought that critic anonymity, though challenging to achieve, is both possible and important. Sheraton said that she once wrote an article for Vanity Fair about all the things a chef or restaurant can change once they know a critic is in the house. She said that after the article was published, a chef acquaintance called her up and said, “You don’t know the half of it.”

Naret, of course, claimed that his system is the best, because nobody knows who his inspectors are. Coincidentally, I received an e-mail last week from someone who has been a sommelier at a two-star Michelin restaurant. She said that they were at least two occasions that they knew an inspector was in the house. So even tire men are recognized sometimes.

Naret was asked about highly dissimilar restaurants having identical star ratings (L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and The Spotted Pig, for instance). He said that the reader can tell from the number of couverts (little crossed knife+fork icons in the guide) that the restaurants are very different styles. This was an understandable answer from a fellow who makes his money by selling books. But to the average consumer the stars are much more recognizable than the humble couverts.

I asked Naret how many visits are required to either confer or take away a star; and after the decision is made, how much time goes by before the restaurant is revisited. His answer wasn’t as specific as I would have liked. He said that most restaurants listed in the guide (that’s over 600 places) were visited only once or twice, but that Daniel (elevated to three stars this year) was visited eight times.

The whole panel was asked whether professional reviews matter any more in the age of food boards and blogs. They all said that, while reviews matter less than they used to, the New York Times review is still the gold standard in New York. It moves the needle the way no other review can. Most also said that chefs consider Michelin stars a higher honor than any media review.

Danny Meyer thought that blogs and food boards definitely matter, because they are seen by more people than if an individual diner just tells a few friends about their meal. Jean-Georges admitted that he looks at online reviews when he is visiting an unfamiliar city, and Krader admitted that she looks at Yelp. But Mimi Sheraton thought that the food board and blog community is insular, and that the reviews in those forums are not much noticed beyond a small community of like-minded people.

Monday
Oct052009

Michelin New York 2010 Ratings

The 2010 Michelin restaurant ratings for New York City were announced today. These were the significant shifts:

Promotions: These restaurants had their ratings increased: Daniel (***), Alto (**)

New Restaurants Honored: Corton received two stars. These restaurants received one star: Convivio, Kajitsu, Marc Forgione, Marea, Minetta Tavern, Rhong-Tiam, Rouge Tomate, Seäsonal, Shalizar, SHO Shaun Hergatt, Sushi Azabu.

The tire men were much more prompt about recognizing new restaurants this year. Marea and SHO Shaun Hergatt did not open until the summer of 2009, and managed to get stars. In the past, April was about the latest date a restaurant could open, and be starred the same year.

Stars Regained: A Voce (had one under Carmellini; lost it when he left; got it back)

Overdue Recognition: These restaurants finally earned a star: Casa Mono, Eleven Madison Park, River Café.

Demotions: Adour and Del Posto were knocked down from two to one. Bouley shows up as a new star, but it had two before it moved. Allen & Delancey and Cru lost their chefs, and therefore their stars. JoJo was also demoted to zero, the second time this has happened to them.

Here is the full five-year list. The color codes are explained at the bottom of the page.

Restaurant 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Adour       ** *
Alain Ducasse ***        
Allen & Delancey       *  
Alto       * **
Annisa * * * * *
Anthos     * * *
Aureole * * * * *
A Voce   * *   *
Babbo * * *    
BLT Fish *        
Blue Hill     * * *
Bouley ** ** **   *
Café Boulud * * * * *
Café Gray * * *    
Casa Mono         *
Convivio         *
Corton         **
Country   * *    
Craft * *      
Cru * * * *  
Daniel ** ** ** ** ***
Danube ** * *    
Del Posto   ** ** ** *
Dévi   * *    
Dressler     * * *
Eighty One       * *
Eleven Madison Park         *
Etats-Unis * * * * *
Fiamma (Osteria) * *   *  
Fleur de Sel * * * *  
Gilt     * ** **
Gotham Bar & Grill * * * * *
Gordon Ramsay     ** ** **
Gramercy Tavern * * * * *
Insieme       * *
Jean Georges *** *** *** *** ***
Jewel Bako * * * * *
JoJo *   * *  
Kajitsu         *
Kyo Ya       * *
Kurumazushi   * *    
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon     * * *
La Goulue * *      
Le Bernardin *** *** *** *** ***
Lever House * *      
Lo Scalco *        
Marc Forgione         *
March *        
Marea         *
Masa ** ** ** *** ***
Minetta Tavern         *
Modern, The * * * * *
Momofuku Ko       ** **
Nobu *        
Oceana * * * * *
Perry St.   * * * *
Per Se *** *** *** *** ***
Peter Luger * * * * *
Picholine * * ** ** **
Public       * *
Rhong-Tiam         *
River Café         *
Rouge Tomate         *
Saul * * * * *
Scalini Fedeli *        
Seäsonal         *
Shalizar         *
SHO Shaun Hergatt         *
Soto         *
Spotted Pig * * * * *
Sushi Azabu         *
Sushi of Gari   * * * *
Veritas * * * * *
Vong * * *    
Wallsé * * * * *
WD~50 * * * * *

 

Color Key:

Green: Restaurant promoted, or starred in first eligible year
Yellow: Restaurant demoted, but still has at least one star
Red: Restaurant demoted, and now unstarred
Gray: Restaurant closed, moved, or opened too late in year to be rated

White boxes indicate no change of status from the prior year.

Monday
Oct062008

Michelin New York 2009 Ratings

Note: Click here for the 2010 Michelin Ratings.

The 2009 Michelin restaurant ratings for New York were announced this morning, with an early sneak peak available from Eater. (See also: press release.)

Obvious winners are Masa (promoted to three stars); Gilt (promoted to two); and both Adour and Momofuku Ko (awarded two right out of the gate). Four restaurants got one star in their first year of consideration: Allen & Delancey, Eighty One, Insieme, and Kyo Ya. The latter restaurant was ignored by most critics, including Frank Bruni, but the Michelin folks found it somehow.

The other promotions to one star were Alto (which got a new chef) and Public. We’ve never been impressed at Public, and we’re not aware of any intervening event that would have justified a re-evaluation. Fiamma re-gained the star it formerly had, which was taken away last year after a chef change.

Restaurants losing their stars include: A Voce (departed chef), Babbo (no obvious reason), Bouley (relocating), Café Gray (closed), Country (closed), Danube (closed), Dévi (no obvious reason), Kurumazushi (no obvious reason) and Vong (long overdue).

Eleven Madison Park remains the most obviously star-worthy restaurant that does not have one. Jewel Bako remains the most obvious candidate for demotion, but the Michelin inspectors seem to like it.

The full four-year history of the NYC Michelin ratings is presented below. Promotions are shown in green, demotions in red, ineligible restaurants (closed or opened too late in the year) in gray. A demoted restaurant that still has a star is shown in yellow (that has only happened once).

Restaurant 2006 2007 2008 2009
Adour       **
Alain Ducasse ***      
Allen & Delancey       *
Alto       *
Annisa * * * *
Anthos     * *
Aureole * * * *
A Voce   * *  
Babbo * * *  
BLT Fish *      
Blue Hill     * *
Bouley ** ** **  
Café Boulud * * * *
Café Gray * * *  
Country   * *  
Craft * *    
Cru * * * *
Daniel ** ** ** **
Danube ** * *  
Del Posto   ** ** **
Dévi   * *  
Dressler     * *
Eighty One       *
Etats-Unis * * * *
Fiamma (Osteria) * *   *
Fleur de Sel * * * *
Gilt     * **
Gotham Bar & Grill * * * *
Gordon Ramsay     ** **
Gramercy Tavern * * * *
Insieme       *
Jean Georges *** *** *** ***
Jewel Bako * * * *
JoJo *   * *
Kyo Ya       *
Kurumazushi   * *  
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon     * *
La Goulue * *    
Le Bernardin *** *** *** ***
Lever House * *    
Lo Scalco *      
March *      
Masa ** ** ** ***
Modern, The * * * *
Momofuku Ko       **
Nobu *      
Oceana * * * *
Perry St.   * * *
Per Se *** *** *** ***
Peter Luger * * * *
Picholine * * ** **
Public       *
Saul * * * *
Scalini Fedeli *      
Spotted Pig * * * *
Sushi of Gari   * * *
Veritas * * * *
Vong * * *  
Wallsé * * * *
WD~50 * * * *
Monday
Sep222008

The Michelin New York Annals

The 2009 New York Michelin ratings announcement are a week or two away. Let the speculation commence!

The table below shows the ratings awarded for the last three years. A gray box means the restaurant was not open, or was not open long enough to be rated. A red box means the restaurant was demoted from one star to zero. A green box means the restaurant was promoted or newly starred. A yellow box means the restaurant was demoted, but still retained at least one star.

We’ll update this post with the 2009 ratings as soon as they’re available.

Restaurant 2006 2007 2008 2009
Alain Ducasse ***      
Annisa * * *  
Anthos     *  
Aureole * * *  
A Voce   * *  
Babbo * * *  
BLT Fish *      
Blue Hill     *  
Bouley ** ** **  
Café Boulud * * *  
Café Gray * * *  
Country   * *  
Craft * *    
Cru * * *  
Daniel ** ** **  
Danube ** * *  
Del Posto   ** **  
Dévi   * *  
Dressler     *  
Etats-Unis * * *  
Fiamma (Osteria) * *    
Fleur de Sel * * *  
Gilt     *  
Gotham Bar & Grill * * *  
Gordon Ramsay     **  
Gramercy Tavern * * *  
Jean Georges *** *** ***  
Jewel Bako * * *  
Jo-Jo *   *  
Kurumazushi   * *  
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon     *  
La Goulue * *    
Le Bernardin *** *** ***  
Lever House * *    
Lo Scalco *      
March *      
Masa ** ** **  
The Modern * * *  
Nobu *      
Oceana * * *  
Perry St.   * *  
Per Se *** *** ***  
Peter Luger * * *  
Picholine * * **  
Saul * * *  
Scalini Fedeli *      
Spotted Pig * * *  
Sushi of Gari   * *  
Veritas * * *  
Vong * * *  
Wallsé * * *  
WD~50 * * *