(Reuters) - Michelin handed out its coveted stars to 76 restaurants in New York City in its 2019 guide on Tuesday, four more than last year, boosting the Big Apple’s reputation as a global destination for its diverse and innovative culinary offerings.
The new city restaurants that achieved the distinction included two named after legendary French chef Joël Robuchon, who died in August.
Michelin praised the first-time “starred” establishments for top-notch techniques or innovative twists on Asian, French and Mexican cuisines.
“New York is one of the leading culinary cities worldwide,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide. “It has a very vibrant culinary scene.”
Michelin will release the latest edition of its New York City eating guide on Thursday.
Michelin’s grading system uses anonymous reviewers in 28 countries. Some argue it is rigid and overlooks some restaurants that critics and diners praise.
The restaurant rater awarded its highest ranking of three stars to the same five New York establishments as last year for their “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”: Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se.
But New York will still likely lag San Francisco in the number of three-star restaurants for a second year. San Francisco and the wine-producing regions of Napa and Sonoma had seven of last year, the most of any U.S. cities.
Michelin will release the 2019 San Francisco guide later this month.
Michelin’s three-star rating, coveted by chefs and restaurateurs, is rare with just over 100 establishments around the world holding that distinction.
Fifteen New York restaurants earned Michelin’s two-star rating for their “excellent cuisine, worth a detour,” up from 11 last year.
Aquavit, Aska, Atera, Blanca, Daniel, Jean-Georges, Jungsik Ko, Marea, The Modern and Sushi Ginza Onodera kept their two-star status. They were joined by Gabriel Kreuther, Ichimura at Uchū and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Tetsu Basement, which Michelin gave two stars, was closed in October in a conversion to a raw seafood restaurant from a meat-focused eatery.
Michelin’s reviewers placed 56 establishments in the one-star category for their “high quality cooking, worth a stop,” the same number as the year before.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Susan Thomas