Have your knives at the ready, D.C. chefs. Michelin inspectors, with their discerning palates, have started to trickle into the District, donning mysterious cloaking devices. Yesterday, the tire and restaurant guide company announced that it will release its first guide to Washington, D.C. this October, complete with those highly coveted stars, The Washington Post reports.
This marks only the fourth city in the United States with its own dedicated guide, following New York, San Francisco and Chicago (guides for L.A. and Las Vegas, which once existed, are sadly no more). Around the globe, there are only nine cities with dedicated guides, though that number will rise soon with the additions of D.C., Seoul and Shanghai.
Inspectors, who are famously discreet and anonymous, have been dining in the city since last fall and will continue to over the coming months, meaning newcomers like Aaron Silverman's Pineapple and Pearls and Eric Ziebold's Métier, both of which opened recently, are still fair game. Kwame Onwuachi's much-anticipated spot The Shaw Bijou may or may not open just in the nick of time, as it's unclear when exactly the cutoff for this year's guide will be.
Even if newcomers are included in the guide, Michelin may not be so quick to hand out stars to them. Michael Ellis, international director for the Michelin Guides, tells The Post, "What we don't want to do is have seesaw decisions where we give a star out and find out six months later that the wheels came off and it's not up to quality."
Stars aside, the announcement is a significant statement about where the city's restaurants are and how they are seen in the food world. Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema placed the city at number nine in his "10 Best Food Cities in America, Ranked" article late last year. In many ways, chefs like Silverman, Ziebold, Jeremiah Langhorne (who opened The Dabney late last year) and others have helped propel the scene forward, but as a Post reporter points out, "The change could be mostly in outsiders' perception of Washington."
Stay tuned to see who takes home those stars.
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