Michelin drops one star from famous NY eatery

Jean-Georges in New York by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (left) has been downgraded from three stars to two.
Jean-Georges in New York by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (left) has been downgraded from three stars to two.PHOTO: COMO DEMPSEY/ THE DEMPSEY COOKHOUSE & BAR

LOS ANGELES • New York is no longer the culinary apple of the eye of Michelin's food tasters.

The Guide's 2018 edition saw celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten suffer the indignity of being downgraded from three to two stars, leaving the American cultural and financial capital with just five restaurants with three stars.

And San Francisco? It has seven.

Seventy-two New York restaurants were awarded stars by the celebrated culinary guide, down from 77 last year.

Michelin said several previously ranked restaurants had been dropped from the list because they had since closed.

But most notable was the loss of the three-star status for Vongerichten's flagship Jean-Georges, one of the most glittering restaurants in New York and situated in the Trump International Hotel And Tower overlooking Central Park.

It was at Jean-Georges that then president-elect Donald Trump dined on Nov 30 last year with Mr Mitt Romney, whom he was then considering, but quickly afterwards passed over as a possible US secretary of state.

After eating in full glare of other diners, Mr Trump let Mr Romney walk out alone after the meal to heap praise on the incoming President before the cameras, offering remarks that contrasted sharply with his criticism on the campaign trail.

Jean-Georges, which opened in 1997 to critical acclaim and has long been the jewel in the French-born chef's empire, is now one of 11 New York restaurants with two stars.

Instead of the three-star ranking, which Michelin characterises as "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey," its downgraded status is classified as "excellent cooking, worth a detour".

The restaurant's prix fixe dinner starts at US$148 (S$201) a head.

San Francisco now has the most number of three Michelin-starred restaurants in any American city.

Chicago has two, while Washington has none.

Six new restaurants joined the star selections, three of which feature Japanese cuisine, the Guide said.

While dwarfed by the population of New York, San Francisco has plenty on its plate - being hugely popular with tourists and famed for its Golden Gate Bridge. In the 1990s, the city became the hub of the dot.com bubble.

Elsewhere, Michelin is introducing its restaurant guide for Bangkok next month as part of a broader effort to increase the appeal of the tyre company's brand in Asia.

In July, it also bought a 40 per cent stake in the US-based Robert Parker wine guide, which hosts tasting events in Asia, including in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau, where Michelin already has food guides.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Michelin drops one star from famous NY eatery'. Print Edition | Subscribe