By Terry Trucco
This month Michelin and Zagat had their say. Which hotel restaurants did these reviewing heavyweights smile upon?
The Modus Operandi differ sharply between the two guides. That said, you’ll see many of the same names in both.
To win a coveted Michelin star – or two or three – restaurants are visited anonymously by Michelin inspectors who rate everything from product quality, food preparation, value for money and consistency over repeat visits to the chef’s personality as revealed in the flavors (no wonder Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the London NYC, a two-star winner for several years, was dropped from the new list).
Zagat reviews, in contrast, are crowd sourced, with voters weighing in numerically on food, décor and service and summing up the experience in pithy phrases.
And the stats?
In the new Michelin Guide, 55 restaurants, up from 52 in 2013, snapped up one star, which translates as “a very good restaurant in its category.” Four were at hotels, down from five last year, and there were no hotel newcomers. (Last year’s fifth one-star restaurant, chef Alain Ducasse’s pretty, pricey Adour at the St. Regis, closed in November.)
+ Ai Fiori at the Langham Place Fifth Avenue (formerly the Setai Fifth Avenue)
+ The Breslin at the Ace
+ Cafe Boulud at The Surrey
+ The NoMad at the NoMad hotel
Hotels didn’t fare so well in the two-star category, “excellent cuisine, worth a detour.” Gilt at the New York Palace and Gordon Ramsay at London NYC raked in two stars in 2013. But Gilt closed last year. (A new restaurant opened this month, helmed by uber-chef Michel Richard.) And as mentioned, Gordon Ramsay at London NYC was dropped from Michelin’s constellation.
As for the coveted three star rating – “exceptional, worth a special journey” – Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York cleaned up once again, the only hotel to do so among the seven winners.
Over at Zagat, home of the familiar maroon-and-white guide, six hotel restaurants and a new hotel outpost of a seventh made it onto the top 100 Top Restaurants list.
+ Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York (6 on the list)
+ Nougatine at Jean Georges at the Trump International (31)
+ NoMad at the NoMad Hotel (36)
+ Café Boulud at the Surrey (42)
+ Ai Fiori at the Langham Place Fifth Avenue (57)
+ Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel (83)
+ Red Farm — an outpost of this adventurous West Village Chinese restaurant opened last month at the new NYLO hotel – formerly On the Ave (99)