Michelin and Zagat’s Serve Up Their Best NYC Hotel Restaurants for 2012

The first week in October is pretty innocuous unless you’re a foodie — or to be precise, a guide-loving foodie. This week Michelin and Zagat published their respective, red-covered 2012 New York City restaurant guides within a day of each other. That’s like back-to-back Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

Cafe Boulud at The Surrey

How did New York’s hotel’s fare?  Brilliantly if we’re discussing Jean Georges, the sleekly modern dining room at the Trump International Hotel.
Calling it “New York’s fine dining at its grandest” Michelin once again bestowed three stars upon Jean Georges Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant. (New Yorker readers may recall John Colapinto’s mouth-watering article “Lunch with M,” about the author’s calorie-defying lunch at Jean Georges with a Michelin inspector in 2009.)  Over at Zagat, the crowd sourcers rewarded Jean Georges with a coveted Top Food award (“expect brilliant everything”) and rated it the fifth best restaurant in the city (it was fourth last year).

Another big winner, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel New York,

captured two Michelin stars – a leap up from one star in 2011 — and came in at 20 on the Zagat Top Food list. An obviously thrilled Robuchon told Eater, “Ten years ago, Michelin wouldn’t have given this restaurant two stars. They used to judge on the table setting [and formality]. Now they judge the food more. But I appreciate very much that we never know when they come. They are anonymous. [Other critics] sometimes tell you they are there — and then don’t pay for their food.”

Additional overlappers include Café Boulud at the Surrey (one Michelin star and a Zagat Top 50), Ai Fiori at the Setai Fifth Avenue (one Michelin star and a Zagat Top 50), Gilt at the New York Palace Hotel (one Michelin star and a mention in Zagat’s Hotel Dining Choice list) and Adour at the St. Regis (one Michelin star and a Zagat’s Hotel Dining choice).

Here are the relevant stats for 2012 from Michelin:

Forty-six restaurants scored a single star, which signifies “very good food in its category.”  Four are at hotels.

+ Ai Fiori at the Setai Fifth Avenu

+ Adour at the St. Regis

+ The Breslin at Ace

+ Café Boulud at the Surrey

Of the nine two-star restaurants (“excellent cuisine, worth a detour”), three are at hotels.

+ Gilt at the New York Palace Hotel

+ Gordon Ramsey at The London

+ L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel New York

Just seven restaurants achieved a lofty three stars, including Jean Georges, the lone hotel.

Over at Zagat, five hotel restaurants landed in the Top Food fifty:

+ Jean Georges at the Trump International

+ L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

+ Café Boulud at the Surrey

+ Jean Georges Nougatine at the Trump International

+ Ai Fiori at Setai Fifth Avenue

And here are Zagat’s top restaurants for Hotel Dining.

+ Jean Georges at the Trump International

+ Café Boulud at the Surrey

+ Ai Fiori at Setai Fifth Avenue

+ Adour at the St. Regis

+ Gilt at the New York Palace

+ Locanda Verde at the Greenwich Hotel

ONY Takeaway: It’s hard to argue with either list as the restaurants selected are undeniably excellent (the Peeky Toe Crab Benedict at Café Boulud was the most memorable hotel breakfast I had all year).  But this is an event dining list. Next year let’s hope for more outliers like the Breslin, ie less formal but adventurous.

 

 

3 replies
  1. Michael
    Michael says:

    Not surprising about Jean Georges or L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon either, but nice to see others on the list as well, like the Breslin. Joel Robuchon’s comment about reviewers expecting free meals is depressing.

    Reply
    • Terry
      Terry says:

      Thanks, Michael. You’re so right about Joel Robuchon’s comment. (Overnight New York, btw, never takes freebies, either for rooms or meals.)

      Reply
  2. Brodsky Organization
    Brodsky Organization says:

    Fine dining has always been one of the most signifigant perks in living in a Manhattan apartment, and these new rankings from Zagat and Michelin further reinforce the culinary reputation of Manhattan. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon looks especially promising, given its rise up both Zagat’s and Michelin’s rankings.

    Reply

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