Star chefs abound in New York City. Indeed, there are more celebrity chefs here than anywhere else. Television has transformed the kitchen, while bringing the culinary achievements of the chef to a global audience.
For diners, all this adds up to glorious spaces, creative menus and serious wait lists. Meanwhile, the best keep getting better, as 77 restaurants here now boast Michelin stars.
Few of the TV-famous chefs still work the line in their own restaurants, but their creativity is on display for all who manage to get a reservation. For a taste of what being the best is all about, a table at any of these decadent dining destinations would be worth the wait.
38 East 19th Street
From the abc kitchen crew, this will be Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first meatless restaurant; gourmet vegetarians rejoice! This restaurant was co-created by ABC Carpet & Home CEO Paulette Cole and will open this spring with a menu from chef de cuisine Neal Harden. The 75-seat restaurant will serve both vegan and vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
1 Bryant Park
Owner Charlie Palmer opened Aureole in 1988, quickly establishing it as one of the finest restaurants in the United States. Aureole serves inventive American cuisine and has gained a worldwide reputation for its talented celebrity chef, elegant atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Now in its 25th year, Aureole is contemporary urban elegance.
60 W. 55th Street
Alain Ducasse’s famed French bistro has brand-new interiors and a new wine bar. Lovers of his Adour Alain Ducasse, formerly in the St. Regis Hotel, will have to make do with “the younger brother of the legendary Parisian bistro” that is developing a personality of its own.
116 East 27th Street
Danny Meyer followed up his successes—Union Square Care, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park—with a more casual restaurant that evoked the cuisine of the American South, but with fine-dining finesse.
Brasserie Les Halles
15 John St.
Celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain had his big break after cooking at Brasserie Les Halles, the classic destination for informal French cuisine, is in the style of old Parisian market district brasseries.
The Four Seasons Hotel
99 Church Street
Wolfgang Puck’s newest venture is the prime spot for steak. Expect breakfast, lunch and dinner at the sixth location of the eatery. Find an extensive selection of American and Japanese Wagyu beef.
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
“Indulge in a refined menu of carnivorous delicacies, served alongside a wide selection of craft beer and sommelier selected wine at New York’s coolest industrial bistro. A fresh take on the classic French brasserie, DBGB is one of the city’s hottest downtown spots and a can’t be missed for an after work outing. Helmed by the incomparable Chef Daniel Boulud, this restaurant and bar features a Lyonnais-inspired menu of bistro cuisine in a warm and rustic setting. Guests can enjoy the chef’s creations in a private dining room within Boulud’s kitchen for a truly exceptional private dining experience.”
85 Tenth Avenue
All-star trio Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich – the chef’s behind Eataly – have created this outpost for lovers of experimental Italian cuisine and those in search of a destination with serious romantic ambiance.
Fowler & Wells
123 Nassau Street
Star Chef Tom Colicchio brings a menu filled with throwback New York classics, such as Lobster Thermidor and Beef Wellington. Fun fact; this is Tom Colicchio’s first New York City opening since 2010. Nestled in Lower Manhattan’s Beekman Hotel, it’s inspired by the fine dining of the past. The team will also operate the bar in the hotel’s nine-story atrium. So far, The Bar Room and Fowler & Wells are currently open for Breakfast and Dinner, with Lunch coming soon.
1 Central Park West
The eponymous crown jewel in Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s culinary empire, Jean-Georges also one of the city’s greatest restaurants, with accolades from the James Beard Foundation and nearly everyone else, including four stars from The New York Times and three Michelin stars.
L’atelier De Joël Robuchon
85 10th Avenue
Here we are, four years later, and Michelin-starred Parisian prodigy Joël Robuchon will be gracing our dining scene with not one but two divine destinations. L’atelier De Joël Robuchon will open next year in the Meatpacking District and will seat about 60 guests. Planning a late 2017 or early 2018 opening, his Midtown dual level space at 100 E. 53rd Street will be called Joël Robuchon Restaurant with a gourmet marketplace. Another hush hush venture will also be multiple locations for a La Boutique de Joël Robuchon. We await more scrumptious details….
787 7th Ave
“Born in Paris in 1972 by sibling duo Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze, Le Bernardin only served fish: Fresh, simple and prepared with respect. After receiving its first Michelin star in 1976, and two more in 1980, the Le Coze’s set to open Le Bernardin in New York in 1986. After the unexpected passing of Gilbert in 1994, Maguy Le Coze began working closely with Chef Eric Ripert, a disciple and close friend of Gilbert, who took over the kitchen to continue preparing the freshest seafood with the simple philosophy that the fish is the star of the plate. Le Bernardin earned four stars from The New York Times three months after its opening, never having dropped a star throughout five reviews, and is the only restaurant to maintain this rating for that length of time. The restaurant has held three stars from the Michelin Guide since its 2005 New York launch and currently ranks 24 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The New York Zagat Guide has recognized Le Bernardin as top rated in the category of “Best Food” for the last nine consecutive years, and in 2015 was rated by the guide as New York City’s top restaurant for food and service. Le Bernardin has earned seven James Beard Awards since 1998 including “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year,” “Top Chef in New York City,” “Outstanding Service,” “Outstanding Chef in the United States,” “Outstanding Pastry Chef,” “Outstanding Wine Service,” and “Best Restaurant Design” in 2012.”
2 Lexington Avenue
Created by Danny Meyer, the foodie star behind Union Square Hospitality, including Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and The Modern, Maialino is a Roman-style trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Executive chef Nick Anderer’s menu draws from classic Roman dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
88 Tenth Avenue
Hiroshima native and renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings his eponymous brand to the Chelsea Market, creating a superb restaurant.
10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor
After per se opened in 2004 it quickly established itself as one of New York City’s top restaurants. With per se, Thomas Keller brings his distinctive hands-on approach from Napa Valley’s French Laundry to New York City. The restaurant reflects his intense focus on detail that extends to cuisine, presentation, mood and surroundings.
310 Lenox Ave
Named in honor of a legendary Harlem speakeasy, Red Rooster is renowned TV chef Marcus Samuelsson’s exploration of the roots of American cuisine and the diverse traditions of Harlem, the neighborhood he calls home. Samuelsson serves comfort food that celebrates the roots of American cuisine and has elevated the culinary game in the neighborhood by bounds.
60 E 65th St
Award-winning chef Daniel Boulud’s presents seasonal French cuisine inspired by the market in the sumptuous Venetian Renaissance style dining room or in the Bellecour Room. Daniel Boulud has created a kitchen brigade trained in the French tradition respecting the techniques, hierarchy and discipline of their trade. Together they combine the talent of 40 cooks representing the world, working together in 4,000 square feet of state of the art kitchen designed by Boulud himself.
The Michelin Stars for 2017 have been released, and New York fared as well as ever. Included in the 77 restaurants awarded a star, New York has six, three-star venues; Le Bernardin, Masa, Jean-Georges, Eleven Madison Park, The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and per se.
Food boundaries are always in flux; watch for my next edition of Faithful Food! Happy Dining!