The Michelin Guide to New York Restaurants
ranks the city's best restaurants each year. Although there is always controversy over the Michelin inspectors' picks, the restaurants that receive top marks are certainly among the city's best.
They're also among the most expensive. In 2012, the top marks went to Daniel, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa, Per Se, Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare and Eleven Madison Park.
These restaurants are all very different from each other, but they have one thing in common: you have to plan ahead to get a reservation, and be prepared to secure that reservation with a credit card. Updated: Which restaurants earned three stars in 2013?
Read more: How are Michelin Stars awarded?
Daniel, chef Daniel Boulud's Manhattan flagship, specializes in marrying classic French technique with seasonal and often local ingredients. The atmosphere is very "we are the 1%".
Make your reservation one month in advance, and make sure you start dialing at 9 a.m. if you want to ensure a reservation during prime-dining hours. (Reservations are not accepted more than one month in advance.) Read more about Daniel, including a more budget-friendly alternative.
Jean Georges is the flagship of chef Jean Georges Vongeritchten, another famous chef that's steadily building a restaurant empire both in New York City and around the world. Jean Georges is in the lobby of Trump International Hotel and Tower near Columbus Circle, and the restaurant is fittingly swank. The seafood heavy menu blends French technique with Asian flavors. Be sure to make a prime-time dinner reservation exactly one month in advance. (If it's late in the day, Open Table will sometimes allow you to book for the next day.) Read more about Jean Georges
, including a more budget-friendly alternative.
Le Bernardin is the flagship restaurant of chef Eric Ripert
, and it is all about the seafood. It's another restaurant that oozes wealth power, although its relatively recent facelift
rescues it from its former stuffiness, which seemed entirely at odds with Ripert's public personality
. For weekend dining, reservations a month ahead are a must. Read more about Le Bernardin
,including a more budget-friendly alternative.
Masa is a sushi restaurant, arguably one of the best in the world and certainly one of the most expensive. (Although some people complain
about the service, most notably Sam Sifton, the New York Times' former restaurant critic.) With only 26 seats, Masa is also tiny restaurant -- it's not on Open Table. Read more about Masa
, including a more budget-friendly alternative.
- 10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center)212-823-9800
- Masa Website
Per Se differs from New York's other three-star restaurants, in that it is not is chef's flagship. For Thomas Keller, that would be French Laundry in the Napa Valley, although he famously supervises is farm-to-table, molecular gastronomy, you've never tasted anything quite like this before kitchen via video feed
This is also not an easy reservation to score. You must reserve exactly one month of your preferred dining date, be prepared to confirm your reservation multiple times. The phone lines open at 10 a.m., and there are times when all the reservations are gone in under five minutes. Read more about Per Se, and a more affordable alternative.
- Reserve on Open Table
- 10 Columbus Circle, at 60th Street. Fourth Floor.
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is the first and only three-star restaurant outside of Manhattan, in the Boerum Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Of all of the three-star picks for 2012, this is the most different from all the others: you're served by Chef Cesar Ramirez at a kitchen counter. The tasting menu has about twenty dishes, some of which are one bite, many of which are seafood only.
The restaurant only has 18 seats at its counter, and it's not on Open Table. The procedure to snag a seat is as follows: call on Monday, starting at 10:30 a.m. Reservations will be made for the entire week, six weeks out. There is no other way to get a reservation. Read more about Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare.
In a city filled with authoritarian three-star Michelin restaurants, Eleven Madison Park is designed around the concept of choice. You have many options at this restaurant, from selecting ingredients you especially like (or the ones you stay away from at all costs) to the number of courses in your meal. The four course menu is one of the best deals out there at this level of dining, at $125. All of this in a stunning Art Deco space.
Eleven Madison Park is also outside the three-star "ghetto" known as Midtown, and its differences extend less appealingly to its reservation policy: they're only taken 28 days in advance, as opposed to the more standard thirty days. Read more about Eleven Madison Park.