When it comes to fine dining, New York City is taking a back seat to San Francisco—at least by one measure.
For the first time, the Big Apple has fewer restaurants with the coveted three star Michelin Guide rating than the California coastal city. Michelin announced its 2018 New York star selections on Monday, almost a week after revealing the same for San Francisco.
Michelin awarded three stars—its highest ranking—to five restaurants in New York City: Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se.
The guide recognized seven San Francisco-area restaurants with the same honor: Benu, Coi, the French Laundry, Manresa, Quince, the Restaurant at Meadow ood and Saison.
While the difference might seem slight, the Michelin ratings are considered an important denominator, especially in the upper echelon of dining, where multicourse meals that easily run $200-plus per person are the norm.
New York City always has been considered a global leader in this rarefied realm. But San Francisco has made considerable headway over the years.
Restaurant-industry insiders note that the farm-to-table movement, one of the most significant culinary trends of the past decade, got its true start on the West Coast.
Still, Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis played down the fact that San Francisco now tops New York City, noting that three-star establishments represent a sliver of the restaurant scene.
Mr. Ellis pointed out that considering the number of Michelin-starred restaurants overall—establishments with anything from a one to three-star rating—New York City has a considerable edge, with 72 compared with San Francisco's 55.
“That's arguably more a reflection of the state of dining in the two cities,” Mr. Ellis said.
The 2018 first-time Michelin honorees in New York City include: Rouge Tomate in Chelsea, Sushi Amane in Midtown East and the Clock tower in the Flatiron District. All three received a single star.
Arlene Spiegel, a restaurant- industry consultant based in New York, said that while the Michelin ratings may carry a certain weight, especially with deep-pocketed tourists, most diners in the city consider online resources when deciding where to eat.
“The bottom line is they're going to look on Yelp,” she said.
|A look at how select cities compare by number of dining spots that have earned the Michelin Guide's top rating.
BY CHARLES PASSY