Michelin's most anticipated city guide has just been released for 2018, and the biggest news isn't the restaurants that gained a star, but the famed New York establishment that lost one.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's eponymous French restaurant can no longer bill itself as a three-Michelin-star restaurant, as it was just downgraded to the two-star list. The loss comes shortly after Eater restaurant critic Ryan Sutton declared the chef's newly opened Public Kitchen the "city's worst new restaurant."
"Unfortunately, we saw a slow glide downward. It started off with small things . . . and it didn't get any better. It was kind of on cruise control," guide director Michael Ellis tells Eater. The only other fallen stars this year were due to several closures of the actual restaurants themselves, including two-star Soto and one-star Betony in Midtown. Meanwhile, the last time a restaurant was downgraded from three to two stars was Daniel Boulud's Upper East Side restaurant in 2015.
Overall, 72 restaurants were awarded stars, with six joining the ranks for the first time. Korean steakhouse Cote and Stephen Starr's restaurant, The Clocktower, in Flatiron were both awarded one star, in addition to Bar Uchū on the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, Sushi Ginza Onodera, Masaki Saito's high-end omakase spot that received its first star last year, made the jump to the two-star club with the 2018 guide. "Our inspection team enjoyed their initial visits to Sushi Ginza Onodera, and return visits this year confirmed it is on par with two-starred sushi restaurants around the globe," Ellis says in the official announcement.
Aside from Vongerichten's loss, the guide comes with a few more head-scratchers: Le Coucou, one of the city's best and most highly acclaimed French restaurants, has yet to make it onto the list (or even the Bib Gourmand guide) for the second year in a row, despite winning the 2017 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country. Other NYC favorites, including Missy Robbins's perennially packed Italian restaurant, Lilia, and Enrique Olvera's restaurant, Cosme, are also noticeably absent.
With last week's release of San Francisco's Michelin Guide, New York—in some respects—has lost the title of America's most celebrated dining city, with only five three-star restaurants as opposed to its West Coast cousin's seven. This year's release also reflects another trend haunting the prestigious list: the lack of female-run restaurants. As Eater notes, only six out of the 72 NYC restaurants have female chefs running the kitchen, including Emma Bergstrom's Aquavit, which many were hoping would be upgraded to a three-star restaurant. Here's to hoping next year will bring the country's first three-Michelin-star female chef.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Eleven Madison Park
*Sushi Ginza Onodera
Delaware and Hudson
Gotham Bar and Grill
Günter Seeger NY
The Musket Room
The River Café
ZZ’s Clam Bar
* denotes new additions or changes to the 2018 guide
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