Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
Dine at one of the 3 Michelin Star restaurants in NYC.
“As a soccer player, I wanted an FA Cup winner’s medal. As an actor you want an Oscar. As a chef it’s 3 Michelin’s stars, there’s no greater than that.” – Chef Gordon Ramsay
In 1900, Michelin launched its first guidebook as a way to encourage road-tripping in France and boost demand for cars and tires. By 1926, they had taken a more active role and began sending anonymous reviewers to restaurants. Ten years later, they finalized the standards of what earns the famous three Michelin stars, criteria which are still used today.
Michelin describes their rating system:
One star: A very good restaurant in its category. A place offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
Two star: Excellent cuisine, worth a detour. Skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
Three star: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. One always eats here extremely well, sometimes superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
Michelin’s reviewers dine incognito with a focus on quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food. Reviewers come together once a year to compare experiential notes and publish the annual Michelin Guide. Launched in America in 2005, the Michelin Guide currently features only three US cities: San Francisco, Chicago, and best of all, New York.
For 2016, only six restaurants in New York were awarded 3 Michelin stars:
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare was the first restaurant outside of Manhattan to achieve the coveted 3 star Michelin rating in 2014. Inspired by Japanese cuisine and French techniques, the restaurant is run by Chef Cesar Ramirez and features an intimate kitchen counter dining experience with 18 seats.
The daily-changed menu features at least 15 courses and is always heavily focused on seafood with both raw elements and shellfish. Chef’s Table also features an extensive wine list, boasting over 400 varieties being represented in a 3,000 bottle cellar.
Eleven Madison Park is a Contemporary American restaurant run by Chef Daniel Humm, who co-owns the restaurant with front-of-house maestro Will Guidara. They were first awarded three Michelin stars in 2012 and boast a slew of other impressive and prestigious awards.
Offering guests a multi-course tasting menu inspired by the agricultural bounty of New York and its culinary traditions, Eleven Madison Park is certainly an event: after making reservations, patrons famously receive an email stating: “Our tasting menu lasts approximately three and a half hours, so please plan your day accordingly.”
Conceived by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and currently helmed by Chef Mark LaPico, Jean Georges is hailed as one of the top five best French restaurants in the Americas, blending French, American and Asian influences.
A prix-fixe menu is available with a two-course lunch and a four-course dinner and the restaurant also offers two seven-course tasting menus. The Jean Georges menu features signature dishes like diver scallops with carmelized cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion and a Lobster tartine with lemongrass and fenugreek broth, and a seasonal menu highlighting fresh produce, with dishes like butter poached haruki turnip with kombu and caviar and fall mushroom salad with wild greens and herbal pine nut dressing.
Le Bernardin is a French seafood restaurant with dishes crafted by world-renowned Chef Eric Ripert. The restaurant is rooted in the simple philosophy that fish and its varied preparations is the star of the plate, which explains the menu’s categories: Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked. Le Bernardin has held three stars since its 2005 New York launch.
Le Bernardin offers a prix-fixe menu in three or four courses with deliciously straightforward dishes like slivers of fluke accompanied by a ponzu-chimichurri sauce and decadent desserts like exotic fruit “Pavlova,” which features roasted pineapple, guava jam, and yuzu-coconut sorbet. They also feature a Chef’s Tasting and a Le Bernardin tasting menu, both of which combine adventurous flavor profiles with the best seasonal ingredients for an unforgettable meal.
Masa, awarded 3 stars in 2009, was the first American Japanese restaurant to do so. The menu is “Omakase,” meaning “I leave it up to you” and is designed by Chef Masa himself. He aims to include seasonal ingredients and sometimes adds exotic elements such as truffle oil and Kobe beef. All of the fish is flown in from Japan and Chef Masa can often be spotted working behind the bar.
The dining room is purposefully minimalist, acting as a “blank canvas on which the food will be allotted space to shine.” Chef Masa and his team strive to elevate the ingredients while honoring and leaving intact the innate flavors of even the simplest of ingredients. Reservations for the 26 seat dining area can be taken up to three weeks in advance. On the low end, meals average $450 per person.
Owned by world-famous Chef Thomas Keller, and with a kitchen lead by Chef Eli Kaimeh, Per Se blends New American and French styles and also has the distinction of being the third most expensive restaurant in the world.
Per Se offers two nine-course tasting menus, one designed for herbivores and one designed for carnivores, though each are equally inventive and delicious. Astoundingly, no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. With ingredients like Parsnip “Chips,” Chestnut “Confit,” Celery Branch and Black Winter Truffle Purée Served with Toasted Brioche, which accompanies their slow-poached Hudson Valley Duck foie gras, it’s almost sad that you get each ingredient only once, until, that is, you consider how many spectacular ingredients you get to taste in their stead.
As their 3 star Michelin standings attest, these six restaurants would be worth a trip to New York in their own rights. Be sure to plan ahead, as reservations often need to be booked weeks in advance and prepare your palette to be irrevocably changed.
(Main image credit: Mark & Andrea Busse/flickr; 2nd image credit: Wally Gobetz/flickr; 3rd image credit: Krista/flickr; 4th image credit: Min Lee/flickr; 5th image credit: kowarski/flickr)
Originally posted at: Affinia Hotels