Food & Drink

What is your experience with Michelin-starred restaurants?

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  • Sep 26th, 2016 10:07 pm
[OP]
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Sep 19, 2016
5 posts

What is your experience with Michelin-starred restaurants?

Worth it or overpriced? I was looking to book a lunch at one maybe in NYC. Hesitating because there are so many other places that also look really good.

Thanks
10 replies
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Jan 15, 2007
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I have been to several Michelin starred restaurants with tasting menus, I have always enjoyed it and did not regret paying the high price. Some might find them overpriced, but considering the artful presentation, length(often 2+ hour meals), and quality I have never had regrets (unlike at a place like the keg, which is much cheaper but I find a bad value). I would say its worth trying once to make your own opinion as 'worth' is probably something that is very subjective.

FWIW - the last one I had was Eleven Madison Park in NYC in the summer, not sure if they do lunches though, but I would go back in a heart beat.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 19, 2016
5 posts
Thanks for your thoughts.

Eleven Madison appears to do the same type of meal for Lunch or Dinner.

I do notice that restaurants with similar numbers of Michelin stars can still vary quite a bit in price. Eleven Madison is on the mid-higher end. Hmm...
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May 10, 2005
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Far and away, the best complete dinner experience and service we ever received was at Gordon Ramsay's in London. It validated what Michelin star awards are to us. https://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com ... don-ramsay

One of the best entrees we ever had was the 100 layer lasagna http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/65732/ at Mario Batali's Del Posto in NYC. A Michelin star restaurant. https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaur ... 3585-41102
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Depends.

The greatest culinary experience of my LIFE (because it was far more than just dinner), was at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. Throughout the meal it was clear why it was a 3 Michelin-star restaurant.

The most disappointing meal? Per Se in New York. I couldn't believe it somehow ranked the same as Robuchon. The food was largely unimpressive (cooked properly, but so unexciting), the service was mediocre, and it was capped off thusly:

We ordered 3 cappuccinos. They were totally standard restaurant ones (store-bought espresso beans, scoop of foam on top), which I expected. One friend took a sip and went "ugh, this is gross!" The other two of us were confused. It wasn't great, but not gross. So I tried hers. It WAS gross. Like they had used yesterday's grounds in warm water or something. Undrinkable. We called over the server and told him that there was something wrong with that particular one. He made a face like we didn't know what were talking about and grunted that he'd replace it. Out came a new, average capp.

In between those two have been a couple 1 and 2 star restaurants. Which were all good, some even exceptional. It's definitely (generally) a higher quality of service and food preparation than your standard restaurant, but not really much beyond a typical "fancy" joint.

Also, I've found that over the past few years, it's very easy to get a superior meal from restaurants that would be considered mid-range a while back. Here in Toronto, for instance, there are a bunch of fantastic $50-$80 tasting menus at smaller, independent places, put under the categories of "chef's choice" or "let us cook for you". The higher-end restaurants with tasting menus are also top-notch if they've kept up with what's going on out there.

I'd imagine somewhere like NYC would be similar, with so many talented chefs opening small out of the way places that would probably blow you away. Best meal I had in NYC (same trip as Per Se) was at Perilla, which is sadly closed now. But it was suggested to me by some local friends, and the 5 of us were passing our dishes around the whole night they were so good.
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Astin wrote: Depends.

The greatest culinary experience of my LIFE (because it was far more than just dinner), was at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. Throughout the meal it was clear why it was a 3 Michelin-star restaurant.........
....
Interesting comment about about L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. We experienced the opposite but hey, that is what it is all about.
We were staying at MGM Signature in Las Vegas 2 years ago and part of the package was a gift certificate for L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Not worth anywhere near the cost of the tasting menu but, enough to subsidize a bit :)
Anyway, we were quite disappointed, not only in the food, but in the presentation and quantity. The service also seem rushed even though there was an extended time between courses. The food was placed before us and the servers left. We even had to stop them to ask for explanation of what was presented. We even asked for the wine to be changed for one of the courses. The sommelier was about to say something to us but I asked him to taste before he said anything. He apologized and got us another.
Perhaps an off day, although the restaurant was not over crowded. So, for us, it was not a great experience.
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I've been to a few Michelin starred and Michelin recommended restaurants in Hong Kong.

Starred = Overrated. Great meal but not an incredible must have meal. Getting the star also tends to mean that their prices go up and sudden expansion happens.

Recommended = Amazing. Prices still go up though not by as much. Lines and waits increase, but it's managable.
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Pete_Coach wrote: Interesting comment about about L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. We experienced the opposite but hey, that is what it is all about.
We were staying at MGM Signature in Las Vegas 2 years ago and part of the package was a gift certificate for L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Not worth anywhere near the cost of the tasting menu but, enough to subsidize a bit :)
Anyway, we were quite disappointed, not only in the food, but in the presentation and quantity. The service also seem rushed even though there was an extended time between courses. The food was placed before us and the servers left. We even had to stop them to ask for explanation of what was presented. We even asked for the wine to be changed for one of the courses. The sommelier was about to say something to us but I asked him to taste before he said anything. He apologized and got us another.
Perhaps an off day, although the restaurant was not over crowded. So, for us, it was not a great experience.
Not L'Atelier Robuchon, but Joel Robuchon next door to it. L'Atelier is their experimental "casual" restaurant. It can be hit and miss. I've had great meals there, where I felt the price was a relative bargain, and some where the service was so-so and the food, while good, wasn't at the level it's been other times. It's got 1 Michelin star vs Joel Robuchon's 3.

Joel Robuchon next door is a whole different world. Seats about 36 people total, service is impeccable and attentive, and the food is flawless.
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It's interesting seeing the perspectives of people on starred restaurants, and watching those Netflix series that features many of them (Chef's Table I think it's called). A common theme is that these people understand they need to be perfect, every single day, every single meal. The pressure is immense and the people more judgemental (as they should be) because they need to maintain the reputation that earned them their stars in the first place.

If you haven't watched any of those series I'd recommend it, I found them interesting. I always enjoy documentaries of people who absolutely love what they do and are the top of their class.

I was actually staying 20 min away from Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana, which was a rather short notice diversion in my trip. If I had more time I would have loved to eat there (which obviously requires a long term reservation).
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I've been to about 6, well 5 and one that was given its first star about a month after I dined there.

Most of mine have been 1 stars.

Public in NYC - Been twice. Great meal and very reasonably priced for what we had. I'll go back next time I'm in New York. If your looking for something in NYC thats reasonable and worth it, I think this is your place. It won't wow you like some crazy life experience like some places can, but you'll have a very enjoyable meal for a reasonable price. You can eat here for dinner for about $125-175(For a couple) after tip and a drink and have a wonderful experience. If they still run Sunday Supper...not sure they do maybe even cheaper than that.
EL ideas in Chicago - Very different than the others I've been to, was a great experience. Would go back in a heart beat.
wd~50 in NYC - It was a fun experience, but I wouldn't have gone back(Its now closed.)
Elizabeth in Chicago - Honestly was a great meal, but went on too long. I think we were told the dinner would be 2 hours, and we ended up being there for 3+ hours. We ended up being the last people in the restaurant, and just slipped out because we were just tired and done. I would go back possibly to see how things have changed, this is the one I went to just before they got their star.
Auberge du Cheval Rouge in France - Great meal, but don't think I'd go back.
North Pond in Chicago - Had brunch, it was great. There service and the little details were really nice. I'd go back.

Its not a restaurant and therefor doesn't have a star, but I've been I've also gone to the Avairy in Chicago. Its the bar by Grant Achatz/the Alinea team(3 stars)...I really didn't enjoy it. I'm a cocktail guy, I had 4 different cocktails and honestly didn't think that much of them, plus I just felt uncomfortable.

One of my favorite experiences was Atelier in Ottawa, I think if Canadian restaurants could get stars they'd most likely have one.
Last edited by canguy9999 on Sep 27th, 2016 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I've eaten at Jean Georges in NYC, which has 3 Michelin stars. It was truly excellent, from the food to the service.

I've also eaten at Tim Ho Wan, a 1 Michelin star dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, which is possibly the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Service was typical Chinese restaurant but the food was incredible.

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