We all know that New York City is one of the most important gastronomic capitals of the world. It is fascinating to learn about the exquisite and versatile proposal of restaurants that bring together the talent of the greatest chefs worldwide. Not in vain many of the best restaurants are in NY, they also belong to the renowned Michelin Guide year with year. However, in 2021 the reign of New York haute cuisine seems to be on the decline. Last year there were 76 Michelin-starred restaurants in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the posh Westchester suburbs to the north of the city; this year there are only 68. Seven new places were added to the list, all with a star, which means that 15 restaurants fell off the list. What is most impressive is that in comparison, last year’s guide did not lose no net restaurant.
It is also undeniable to relate this sad news for the gastronomic scene with the overwhelming effects of the pandemic, New York City being one of the first epicenters. There is very sensitive data for the industry, which is estimated to be around 5,000 restaurants closed since March 2020.
For example in the announcement of last May 4, Bib Gourmands, their cheap meals list contains 131 restaurants, two less than in the 2020 edition. The reality that the city is going through is quite bleak, especially when one takes into account that the county of Westchester, which was added to the region recently last year, actually added just five locations. One of the good news is that the effect has not been felt across the board, Well, the three- and two-star restaurants remained exactly the same. As a curious fact, we can tell you that the group of favorites with three Michelin stars in New York remains intact and has not changed since 2018. And it is made up of emblematic spaces such as Le Bernardin, Masa, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Per Se, and the now plant-based Eleven Madison Park.
Faced with the pandemic, the position of the Michelin Guide was always clear, since at all times they took into account that the places that were closed during the pandemic would retain their well deserved stars. In such a way that any change in the highest level places, was practically a fact that would not happen this year. However, there are sad facts about it, since several restaurants consecrated that represented decades of fine dining They got off the list because they closed, including Aldea, Gotham Bar & Grill and Del Posto. The truth is that they exist new recognitions that are especially significant, especially because they managed to get through the first year of the pandemic. The clear example and that is positioned as one of the best places of a star, is Kochi that offers Korean-inspired grilled kabobs in midtown Manhattan. The list also has very few kitchens run by women and hardly any kitchen run by a black chef, with the exception of Eric Gestel at Le Bernardin.
Although we are coming off a particularly atypical and difficult year, on May 5 Michelin announced its first Green Star for New York What is it about? It is an award that recognizes practices remarkably sustainable like ingredient sourcing and cooking. This type of recognition debuted in international guides in 2000. And this year fwas awarded to Blue Hill en Stone Barns, a unique restaurant that is the clear example of farm food brought to the table.
Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the guide, stated in an interview with Bloomberg, that he envisions a very hopeful future for the city. I emphasize that the energy of the Big Apple invites the rebound, without a doubt everything experienced during the pandemic has made new concepts and dynamics emerge.
Finally, gastronomy is an art that adapts to time and space. So that it is a trend that is constantly renewed, taking advantage of every crisis as an opportunity to flourish and exploit a new creativity. Here is the list of Michelin winners from New York.
1. Three stars
- Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (Midtown West)
- Eleven Madison Park (Gramercy)
- Le Bernardin (Midtown West)
- Mass (Midtown West)
- Per Se (Midtown West)
2. Two stars
- Aquavit (Midtown East)
- Atera (Tribeca)
- Atomix (Gramercy)
- Aska (Williamsburg)
- Blanca (Fort Greene)
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Westchester)
- Daniel (Upper East Side)
- Gabriel Kreuther (Midtown West)
- Ichimura at Uchū (Lower East Side)
- Jean-Georges (Upper West Side)
- Jungsik (Tribeca)
- Ko (East Village)
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Chelsea)
- The Modern (Midtown West)
3. One star (some)
- Ai Fiori (Midtown West)
- Bastard (TriBeCa)
- Benno (Gramercy)
- Blue Hill (Greenwich Village)
- Carbone (Greenwich Village)
- Enrique House (Queens)
- Mono House (Gramercy)
- Caviar Russe (Midtown East)
- Claro (Sunset Park)
- The Clocktower (Gramercy)
- Contra (Lower East Side)
- Cote (Gramercy)
- Crown Shy (Financial District)
- Don Angie (Greenwich Village)
- Estela (SoHo & Nolita)
- The Four Horsemen (Williamsburg)
- France (Williamsburg)
- Gramercy Tavern (Greenwich Village)
- Hirohisa (SoHo)
- Jeju Noodle Bar (Greenwich Village)
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.