Michelin stars realign
The stars have realigned for Gotham’s foodies.
The 2010 New York City Michelin Guide, which hits stores today, elevates the restaurant Daniel to the maximum three stars, joining the rarefied ranks of Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se.
Newcomer Corton debuted at two stars, and Alto has been promoted from one to two stars.
What’s more, Michelin’s discerning inspectors have brought 17 new city restaurants into the star ranks, which total 55.
While the France-based Michelin designation is newer in the United States, it carries an increasing amount of clout here.
For restaurateurs, getting “Michelin starred” is a career highlight.
If there’s any city restaurateur on the list with more to celebrate this year, it’s Chris Cannon, the co-owner of the newly single-starred Convivio and Marea, and the newly double-starred Alto.
“Getting four Michelin stars in a day is pretty amazing,” Cannon said. “We’re so excited I can’t tell you,” he said. “I’m not doing much work today,” he said with a laugh.
To Cannon, the two-star designation of Alto felt particularly sweet. “Last year everyone was talking about Convivio and this year they’re talking about Marea. We were afraid Alto was kinda getting lost in the shuffle. It was kind of the forgotten child for a while,” he said.The restaurant, which caters to an upscale clientele, felt the economic hit this year. “For a while it was difficult because our customers were hurt,” said Cannon. “But to get two-star Michelin approval is phenomenal for us. And we’re especially excited for Alto. Restaurants are like children. Alto is like the middle child. So we couldn’t ask for anything more.” Among the other newly single-starred restaurants was Italian eatery A Voce, located off Madison Square Park.
“It’s a huge honor,” said executive chef Missy Robbins. “When I was working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy I never would have though I’d be a Michelin-starred chef myself.”
Also new to the list was modern American eatery Rouge Tomate. While Rouge Tomate also has a location in Brussels, this is its first Michelin star.“Coming from Europe, it’s one of the highest honors in the world,” said Nil Sonmez, vice president of Rouge Tomate. ”It’s very important because we opened in probably the worst time for the restaurant industry. Getting through 2009 has been a challenge, and for a restaurant that is new on the market it’s an even bigger challenge. This is a great birthday present. It’s becoming a great year because of this,” she said. Rouge Tomate is unique in its nutritional philosophy — it has a focus on local ingredients, and chefs cook without butter or cream. “It’s not the first type of restaurant that Michelin stars. This shows that healthy food can be great,” said Sonmez. Aside from the new stars, additions to this year’s fifth anniversary NYC guide include new designations for restaurants with notable sake and cocktail lists, a new Small Plates classification, an expansion of Brooklyn and Queens selections and an uber-timely list of 109 restaurants offering meals under $25, in addition to the previously announced Bib Gourmand restaurants, which offer two dishes and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.
Rising stars: New on this year’s list
Three stars: Daniel (Up from two stars)
Two stars: Alto (up from one star), Corton
A Voce Bouley Convivio Eleven Madison Park Kajitsu
Marc Forgione Marea
SHO Shaun Hergatt