Long before Yelp or Zagat, there was the Michelin Guide, still considered the reigning champion of restaurant ratings systems among most culinary experts. Every year for more than a century, Michelin has announced its city guides, causing restaurateurs around the world to clamor, quiver and quake over the amount of prestige their business has earned—stars in Michelin terms. This year is no different.
The hungrily-awaited Michelin Guide New York City 2012 has been announced, bringing with it the latest standings of gourmet dining establishments around the city. The new guide includes 805 restaurants, seven of which have earned three Michelin stars, the highest recognition of excellence in the restaurant business. Only 93 restaurants worldwide have earned three stars, which means New York City has earned about 7 percent of three-star recognitions worldwide.
The three star restaurants of New York, also called exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey by the guide, are Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa, and Per Se. Three of the exceptional restaurants are in Midtown West, two in Uptown, one in Gramercy and one in Brooklyn.
If your appetite for fine dining is big and your wallet small, though, you can seek inspiration from a different Michelin--the Michelin Man tire kind--and head for one of the many--sometimes exceptional--food trucks found in almost every neighborhood in the city.
In fact, some of the more haute food trucks, though hard to locate, have garnered a feverish following among lunch-time snack-seekers. Big Red, Mexicue, Kimchi Taco, Korilla BBQ, Wafels and Dinges, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck and several others have become popular lunch choices for many New Yorkers who track the trucks using Twitter. Not everyone has been accepting of the food trucks, though.
That said, not everyone is happy to see the food truck roll into the 'hood. According to a report from DNA Info, SoHo residents have been complaining about the effect the food trucks have brought to the neighborhood, citing crowded sidewalks, an increase in garbage problems, air pollution and breaking parking laws with impunity. At a recent Community Board 2 meeting, Soho residents asked for higher enforcement from authorities over transit, parking and vending laws.