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No 3 Stars for You!

Notable Chefs Outside the Three Michelin Star Club.


New York City is home to many celebrity chefs, but with only seven three-star Michelin restaurants, many bold faced names did not make this most exclusive club.

If you’re wondering what happened to your favorite celeb chef, here are the notables whose restaurants lack a three-star rating. In almost all cases, these restaurants are comparable in price and class with their three-star brethren – and it’s just as challenging to score a reservation.

Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon main dining room
niallkennedy/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Joël Robuchon is frequently referred to as the best chef in the world. In fact, the honor was “chef of the century”, and it was bestowed upon him in 1989 by Gault-Millau, a French restaurant guide book. Less than ten years later, Robuchon closed his three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris, Jamin and Restaurant Joël Robuchon, and, at the age of 51, seemed to be heading for an early retirement.

Instead, he started opening up restaurants around the world. There’s a location of his L’Atelier Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. (57 East 57th Street.) It received two Michelin stars in 2012. Reservations: (212) 829-3844.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is the guy who terrorizes kitchen staff on television, and runs his eponymous three star restaurant in London, among many, many other restaurants. The New York City arm of his empire is Gordon Ramsay at The London, 151 W. 54th Street. It received two Michelin stars in 2012. Reservations are taken a year in advance. (212) 468-8888.

David Chang

David Chang is the creator of the food journal Lucky Peach,a frequent guest on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and, oh right, presiding over a growing restaurant empire. The flagship is Momofuku Ko, at 163 1st Avenue. These are wildly popular restaurants with limited seating, and so reservations can only be made on the restaurant's website. Reservations are accepted one week out for dinner, two weeks out for lunch, and no reservations are accepted over the telephone. Momofuku Ko received two Michelin stars in 2012.

Mario Batali

Mario Batali, the giant Italian Food Network star in all senses of the word, is involved in a number of restaurant and food ventures in and around New York City and beyond. But although Babbo, his first restaurant, is the harder reservation to score, it’s Del Posto, at 85 10th Avenue, that has a Michelin star. Reservations are accepted 30 days in advance at (212) 497-8090. You will need to confirm that reservation via the restaurant's confirmation line, at (212) 672-0390.

Wylie Dufresne

Wylie Dufresne, best known for his molecular gastronomy, practices his witchy ways at wd-50, at 50 Clinton Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Dufresne is a protege of chef Jean Georges Vongerichten -- Dufresne was his sous chef during the opening of Jean Georges, and now, Vongeritchen is a partner in wd-50.

The wd-50 nine course tasting menu is $150. Make reservations 30 days out. Reservation policy detailed here. (212)477-2900.

David Bouley

David Bouley, a chef who has worked with a veritable who's who of chefs and a galaxy of Michelin-starred restaurants. Among other things, he now helms Bouley and a Japanese restaurant called Brushstroke, both with one Michelin star. Bouley is at 163 Duane Street, (212) 964-2525, in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood. Brushstroke is at 30 Hudson street,(212) 791-3771. Make online reservations for both restaurants on David Bouley's website.

Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio, the name-you-know-if you-know-no-other from Bravo's Top Chefmade his name at Gramercy Tavern, which he co-founded, and which received one Michelin Star in 2012. But now that Colicchio is running his own portfolio, the Michelin starlight is not shining bright. While the top restaurants within in his growing portfolio, Craft, at 43 East 19th Street, (212) 780-0880, and Colicchio & Sons, at 85 Tenth Avenue, (212) 400-6699 have plenty of other accolades, they were not awarded Michelin Stars.
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