Apr 28, '06

Michelin ratings in NY vs Michelin ratings in France

Since I bought the Michelin New York guide last autumn, I just had to write something about the ratings. To be short, I think the ratings for the New York restaurants are just not right. Here is an excellent article by Mike Steinberger who sums up all that I think.

Those who like food like me 🙂 will agree that eating in most of three, two or even one-star Michelin restaurants in France is like going to opera. Eating good and enjoying the chef’s creations is art. I couldn’t say the same about the Michelin rated restaurants in NY. OK, Peter Luger serves great steaks, but what it has in common with creativity?

I recently had dinners numerous times in two  Michelin rated restaurants in Paris and New York. One is David Bouley’s Danube in Tribeca, the other – Jean Pierre Vigato’s Apicius in 8th arrondissement. They both have two Michelin stars, so I found it very exciting to compare.

While  Apicius can be really called “a  culinary institution”, Danube is definitely not worth two or even one Michelin star. Of course, you will have an excellent dinner, but it will not be gourmet experience like in Apicius.

What you should not miss in Danube is the Austrian speciality ” Veal Wiener Schnitzel” which is the only entree I find worth a return.

It is worth to take a cab during the evening rush hours from uptown to Tribeca (If you live in NY, you know what it means) to have dinner in Danube. But this delicious Wiener Schnitzel is not worth two Michelin stars!


By far the food in Danube has no such creativity as Apicius has.
Every time you dine in Apicius, you will have an extraordinary experience.
The service is impeccable and everything is organized till perfection.

So it is obvious that the “Guide Rouge” inspectors were much more
flexible when awarding stars in NY as in France you have to work really
hard and be perfect to be “starred”.

The lounge-bar of the Danube restaurant. You can actually eat there, which is a great choice is you want to have a casual dinner. The design was created by the famous French designer Jacques Garcia.

The  building of Apicius restaurant.
The  building of Apicius restaurant.
Veal Wiener Schnitzel
Veal Wiener Schnitzel
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