Photographer: Zack DeZon

There Are More Losers Than Winners on Michelin’s 2018 New York List

A notable restaurant falls from three stars, and fewer climb to join the one-star club.

In the battle of New York vs. San Francisco restaurants, the Bay Area moved ahead last week in the Michelin three-star category.

This week, the news got worse for New York.

When the Michelin Guide’s 2018 New York stars were announced on Monday, the vaunted Jean-Georges fell from three stars to two.

Shocker: Jean-Georges now has only two Michelin stars.
Source: Jean-Georges

It’s the first time since the Michelin Guide made its U.S. debut, in 2005, that Jean-Georges hasn’t received three stars. “We went there many times, with many inspectors over many months, and we didn’t find the level we expect at a three-star restaurant,” said Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guide. Was this a consequence of chef-owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ceaseless expansion? He currently has 13 places in New York alone. “The chef can reproduce quality food all over the world. We will hope that he gets that third star back ASAP,” Ellis said.

New York now has only five three-star restaurants, including Le Bernardin, Masa, and Eleven Madison Park. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare retained its three stars in spite of a major move to Manhattan (more on that in a minute). So did Per Se, despite a chef change. Ellis confirmed that inspectors visited after Corey Chow took over Per Se’s kitchen in August.

San Francisco boasts seven Michelin three-star restaurants.

In better news for New York, there’s a new two-star spot, Sushi Ginza Onodera, up from one star last year. New York becomes the only U.S. city with a two-star Japanese restaurant; it’s also one of the few cities outside Japan with a three-star Japanese restaurant, Masa.

In fact, if there’s a bright spot in the 2018 Michelin list, it’s Japanese cuisine. Of the six new one-stars, three feature sushi or other Japanese fare: Satsuki, a counter spot from a New York sushi veteran; Sushi Amane in Midtown; and Bar Uchū, a kaiseki tasting from a Brooklyn Fare alum. (“We don’t like one cuisine more than another,” said Ellis, when asked if the best way to get a Michelin star was to open a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan.) Another standout new one-star, Cote, marks the first time a Korean barbecue spot has appeared on the New York Michelin list.

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A major loser, according to Michelin: Brooklyn. In 2017, Aska, an elegant new two-star, represented one of 12 Michelin-starred restaurants in the borough; Brooklyn holds only nine slots on the 2018 list. Losses reflect closings at places such as the beloved tasting spot Take Root, as well as Brooklyn Fare’s move to Hudson Yards.

This year there are 72 restaurants on the New York list, down from 77 in 2017. “Things are cyclical,” observed Ellis. “New York is incredibly exciting. It’s also a very demanding place to have a restaurant.”

And some places appear to be missing from the list altogether, while others seem as if they couldn’t be knocked out with a sledgehammer. (When was the last time you heard anyone say they were going to Jewel Bako?) As per last year, many of us feel strongly that Le Coucou, Cosme, and Lilia deserve at least one Michelin star. A major omission from this year’s list is the Grill, which opened in early May and must have been under consideration, since the one-star Uchū opened in June.

See the full list below (*denotes new entry).

Three Stars

Eleven Madison Park stays on the three-star list.
Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Eleven Madison Park
Le Bernardin
Per Se

Two Stars

Ko, from the Momofuku empire, retains two stars.
Photographer: Zack DeZon

The Modern
Sushi Ginza Onodera*


One Star

A new addition to the list: Bar Uchū, where caviar rolls are a specialty.
Photographer: Zack DeZon/Bloomberg

Ai Fiori
Bar Uchū*
Blue Hill
The Breslin
Café Boulud
Cafe China
Casa Enrique
Casa Mono
Caviar Russe
The Clocktower*
Delaware & Hudson
Del Posto
The Finch
Gabriel Kreuther
Gotham Bar and Grill
Gramercy Tavern
Günter Seeger 
Jewel Bako
Kyo Ya

La Sirena 
La Vara
Minetta Tavern
The Musket Room
Peter Luger
The River Café
Rouge Tomate*

Sushi Amane*
Sushi Inoue 
Sushi Yasuda
Sushi Zo 
Tempura Matsui
Tori Shin
Uncle Boons
ZZ’s Clam Bar

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