Amid a pandemic that has closed at least a thousand restaurants and forced more than 100,000 hospitality workers out of work, anonymous Michelin inspectors today released their rigid 2021 assessment of restaurants in the region. New York City. The so-called Red Guide has awarded new stars to just seven locations – and withheld them from many other reputable institutions.
Newcomers to the star category include Rezdora, Stefano Secchi’s famous Italian restaurant; Tsukimi, a kaiseki restaurant in East Village; Jua, Hoyoung Kim’s modern Korean tasting menu; Don Angie, the whimsical Italian-American haunt of Greenwich Village; Kochi, a Korean kebab restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen; Vestry, a Soho seafood restaurant by chef Shaun Hergatt, and Brooklyn’s Franco-Italian hangout for Francie, John Winterman and Christopher Cippollone.
The new starred selections are all French, Italian, Korean or Japanese. With the exception of Francie, they’re all in Manhattan. In short, as the restaurant industry continues to adapt and change in order to survive, Michelin’s star ranks have remained largely the same.
However, it appears that the anonymous inspectors gave the premises a little extra leeway given the state of the industry. Not a single restaurant that has remained open – or temporarily closed – has been removed or downgraded from the list of starred selections. This means that even Eleven Madison Park, which has remained closed throughout the pandemic and switches to a vegan menu when it reopens, has retained its coveted three-star status with Le Bernardin, Per Se, Masa and the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns also retained its second star, moving towards tasting menus led by a rotating series of resident guest chefs, the most recent of which was Victoria’s renowned Blamey of Gotham Bar & Grill. The restaurant also received the first Michelin “green star” award for the region, an award that signifies a commitment to sustainable development.
Most of the new venues announced by local critics, including Thai Diner, Winner, Bolero, Xilonen and others, have been relegated to Bib Gourmands, a selection of more affordable venues unveiled on Tuesday. Star selections are usually pricey eateries with European, Japanese, or Korean leanings, while bibs typically represent a larger selection of culinary styles in the city around the world.
With the exception of Jeju Noodle Bar, no place for ramen or ramyun has earned a star in the city, a fact that is true for barbecues, pizzerias, food trucks, taco stands, Vietnamese food. modern or many other culinary styles besides New York. is famous for. With the exception of Casa Enrique, the city’s Michelin-starred Mexican restaurants are chic and expensive.
Critics of local restaurants have generally included a greater variety of places in their own official rankings over the years, although the pandemic has prompted these journalists to abandon, at least temporarily, their star-rated or digital rating systems. Along with this collective elimination of the stars has come as critics have shifted the focus of their columns from more difficult culinary assessments to explorations of how restaurants have evolved amid changing operating restrictions, health advice. public and consumer preferences.
The fact that local critics have refused to award stars in recent times has also helped to flatten the sometimes arbitrary distinctions between more upscale places, which tend to earn top marks, and more casual places – whose cuisine does not. Often no less ambitious or labor intensive a more formal establishment.
The Red Guide is currently the only major star-awarding publication in the city at this time. Reviews of Michelin capsules, by the way, don’t seem any different from a typical year, without meaningful consideration of the widespread outdoor dining or take-out programs that have effectively overhauled the way New- Yorkers are eating now.
In Michelin parlance, a star means “high quality cuisine is worth the detour”; two stars indicate “excellent food, worth a visit”; three stars means “exceptional cuisine, which deserves a special trip”.
No New York establishment has been elevated to three-star status since 2012. There are just over 130 restaurants worldwide with this honor. The guide also gives out “plaque” awards for non-starred places – a consolation prize like bibs – as well as new sustainability awards.
The scoring process for this year’s guide ended at the end of 2020. After the shutdown began in March, restaurants in New York City remained closed for everything except take-out and delivery until in late June, when outdoor restaurants debuted. Indoor meals returned to limited capacity from September to early December, before returning in February.
This year, Michelin launched a Young Sommelier Award, which went to Bib recipient Miguel de Leon of Pinch Chinese, and a Young Chef Award, awarded to two-star Jungsik’s Suyoung Park.
The full list of 2021 star selections for New York and Westchester
Chef’s table at Brooklyn fare
Eleven Madison Park
Blue Hill at Stone Granges
Ichimura to Uchū
Joel Robuchon’s work shop
The clock tower
Don Angie (New)
To wake up
Jeju noodle bar
The musket room
The River Café
Sushi Ginza Onodera
ZZ Clam Bar
– With additional reporting from Luke Fortney
This is a developing story and Eater will continue to update this post.