For hotel lovers who double as foodies, Fall heralds the annual arrival of a new Michelin Guide for New York City restaurants.
Sure enough, the 2020 version of the red-coated guide has landed, right on schedule. How did the city’s hotels do this time around?
Not so great. Of the 76 restaurants tapped for one, two and three stars, just five restaurants found at hotels made the cut, down from six last year — and an even longer leap from 2010, the year we started keeping score, when seven reaped one or more stars.
This year’s casualty is a surprise: Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud’s stylish Upper East Side restaurant at the glamorous Surrey hotel and a long-time recipient of a single star. But in June Aaron Bludorn, the restaurant’s executive chef for six years, departed to start a new French-American restaurant in Houston, his new wife’s home town. We’ll see next year how Cafe Boulud fares under their new executive chef Jerrod Zifchak, an alum of the Culinary Institute of America and Le Bernadin.
So who are this year’s chosen few? Just five restaurants reaped three stars for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” in Michelin speak. But once again, none were at hotels.
The lone hotel restaurant to score two stars was a former three-start recipient that got bounced down in the 2019 guide — Jean-Georges, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. We’ll see if they claw their way back to three-star nirvana in 2021. Of course, two-star status — “excellent cooking, worth a detour” — is hardly chump change. Just 14 restaurants earned a double this year, down from 15 last year.
Returning with one star — “high quality cooking, worth a stop” — are four single-star veterans. Ai Fiori, Michael White’s handsome Italian-inflected restaurant at the Langham, has enjoyed one-star status for years as has the NoMad at the Beaux Arts NoMad Hotel, where Daniel Humm and Will Guidara serve up an agreeable if less intricate take on their elaborate Eleven Madison Park fare, an established three-start recipient. Coming for its third year on the list is the Clocktower at the stylish New York Edition hotel, home to British chef Jason Atherton’s witty take on British/European cooking (we love the colorfully eccentric dining rooms). And returning for a second one-star year is Le Coucou, chef Daniel Rose’s white hot haute French dining beauty at 11 Howard.
All are excellent (we’re particularly partial to the Clocktower, Le Coucou and the NoMad), so bon appetit!