counting the stars… part ii

Given my experience and observation with the Guide Michelin in Europe, here are my comments on the recently (or yet to be) released Guide Rouge for New York

… the results are: three stars each for:

Thomas Keller’s Per Se
Eric Rupert’s Le Bernardin
Alain Ducasse’s eponymous establishement at the Essex House
Jean George Vongerichten’s eponymous Jean Georges

Perhaps the biggest surprise (for some, not me), was that Daniel Boulud’s Daniel was left off this list and put with the other two-starred restaurants. Masa, as well, to my suprise, didn’t make the three-star constellation… instead, having to settle for two. New York, with 39 starred establishments, now ranks as second to Paris, with 70-plus, in the number of starred restaurants.

Le Bernardin’s success and appeal alludes me. As a personality, I very much appreciate Chef Rupert, but the food, based on my one meal (last year – pre-Bruni approval) wasn’t anything to rave about. I will say that service was excellent. The dining space – while not frumpy, was deifinitely muted… and I thought its location and space quite odd. I do remember my evening to be defeaning, despite being near the very back of the restaurant.

Perhaps the biggest mystery to me is Alain Ducasse. I don’t know why – but his style of eccentrecity fails to impress me, indeed, I find it offensive. I can’t say from personal experience, but I suspect that a $400+ meal at his various locales would only end in extreme disappointment.

Thomas Keller’s two establishments have escaped my reaches thus far. I hope to make a visit to one (or both) soon.

I haven’t had time (nor the resources) to adequately study the NY Michelin Guide yet, but I will say that I was surprised, and disappointed not to see Sushi Yasuda get any stars. I realize that it’s space and format may not be “traditionally” Michelin star quality… but I definitely think that its food was “stellar.”

~ by ulterior epicure on November 2, 2005.

2 Responses to “counting the stars… part ii”

  1. I think that 4 3-star rated restaurants in NYC is a lot.That’s more than e.g. the UK or Belgium. I’ve been to ADNY and the Bernardin and 9 restaurants in Europe that have 3 stars.

    It’s hard to compare restaurants but you hear often that Michelin is less reluctant to give a third star to French restaurants and well known chefs (e.g. Paul Bocuse). This explains why 2 of the 4 restaurants that got 3 stars in NYC have chefs that are born in France (Jean George and Eric Ripert) and 1 restaurant is owned by world’s most famous chef Alain Ducasse, who also runs 3 star restaurants in Paris and Monte Carlo.

    Masa is the only Japanese restaurant I know that has more than 1 star.

    The reason why Alain Ducasse in the Essex house is so expensive is because the restaurant is very luxereous and due to the fact that you get a table for the whole evening. At Le Bernardin, we had to consume our tasing menu in less than 2 hours.

  2. Yes. This is why I was surprised to see that Daniel Boulud only received 2 stars for Restaurant Daniel (Although I personally agree with the result).


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