The 2012 Michelin Guide will be released on Wednesday, with seven New York City restaurants receiving the highly coveted, elite honor of three Michelin stars.
Eleven Madison Park -- which received the James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2011 -- was upgraded from two Michelin stars to three, along with the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare. The Brooklyn restaurant was a surprising addition to the Michelin guide last year as it is not a fine dining establishment, but serves a superior product in a less formal setting than is traditionally associated with Michelin stars.
Brooklyn Fare's Chef, César Ramirez, was so surprised to learn that he had been awarded three Michelin stars that he initially thought the call telling him the news was a prank, The New York Times reports.
We really put all our hearts and souls into it and to do it right, to cook the best things with the best ingredients and the best techniques and really to do it very simply and very minimalist with a lot of care and love, Ramirez told The Wall Street Journal. Never in my wildest dreams would I believe that this would happen. I think it's a great thing for Brooklyn.
Cesar Ramirez is an extremely talented and meticulous chef, an editor-in-chief of North America's Michelin Guides who declined to reveal her name told Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton.
What he does there night after night is very impressive, given that his audience is sitting right in front of him and there's very little room for error.
The remaining five restaurants awarded three Michelin stars maintained last years' status: Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Per Se, and Masa.
New entrants into the two star category included L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and SHO Shaun Hergatt, the latter which has not always received favorable reviews from New York City restaurant critics.
Picholine, a fine dining restaurant in Manhattan's Lincoln Center that is known for its extraordinary cheese course (and prices), was demoted from two Michelin stars to one.
Three Indian restaurants were awarded a Michelin star: Junoon, Tamarind Tribeca and Tulsi; and Upper East Side Persian restaurant Shalezeh fell off the list altogether after being awarded one star in 2011.
Mario Batali's Del Posto retained its one Michelin star, as did the Spotted Pig and Casa Mono, two more casual establishments where Batali is a partner.
Sam Sifton, The New York Times food critic who gave Del Posto a controversial four-star review in 2010, is leaving his culinary post for a spot at the national news desk at the Times in October. Readers are anxiously awaiting his final review, with some speculating that Sifton will review the three Michelin-starred Per Se.