We’ve kind of gotten used to Michelin freely bestowing Bib Gourmand designations on Brooklyn restaurants—as kind of consolation prize of sorts, for the fact that one of the few borough spots they’ve considered star-worthy in the past is the $255 per person (before wine and tax) Chefs Table at Brooklyn Fare.
But we’ve gotta say, the French tire manufacturers/all-powerful food guide deities really got with the program this year, allowing an unprecedented number of new BK businesses into their hallowed club. So here’s who’s luxuriating in the Michelin love this year, meaning you better make those reservations now (never mind, this is still Brooklyn we’re talking about) before the rest of the world catches on!
Blanca (2 Stars): Brooklyn Fare still leads the pack with three stars (denoting restaurants worth “a special journey”), but Carlo Mirarchi’s Blanca—the Wednesday thru Saturday 12-seat tasting room in back of Roberta’s — was upgraded this year, becoming the only BK eatery to boast two sparklers. Not too shabby, considering it shares the honor with luminaries such as Daniel, Aquavit, and Michael White’s Marea.
261 Moore Street, Bushwick
Delaware & Hudson (1 Star): At $48 for a slew of appetizers, a number of shared desserts, and two separate courses besides, we were kinda surprised that this Williamsburg newcomer didn’t make the Bib Gourmand list. Nice to discover that Michelin didn’t merely consider it a solid option for spendthrift diners, acknowledging the universal appeal of pretzel rolls, sweet corn pudding and green tomato pie.
135 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg
La Vara (1 Star): The chef-owner of several popular NYC restaurants (along with her husband, Eder Montero), Alex Raij finally got props from Michelin for her first Brooklyn venture; the Cobble Hill charmer, La Vara. We generally steer clear of any place espousing the tired tapas format, but the cuisine at La Vara is wholly unique—exploring the Moorish and Jewish influences on Spanish cuisine.
268 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill
Luksus (1 Star): Michelin sure has come a long way from their days of single-mindedly honoring French restaurants—this year, Luksus became the first starred spot to offer a beer-only beverage program. Not that chef Daniel Burns is a stranger to accolades; his resume includes extended stints at international Michelin-starred darlings, Noma and The Fat Duck.
615 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Meadowsweet (1 Star): Polo Dobkin was the first to admit it; after helping Williamsburg trailblazer, Dressler, earn the borough one of its very first Michelin stars, he dreamed for a repeat performance at his very own eatery—located in the self-same Broadway space. Evidently, the guide was duly won over by Dobkin’s Mediterranean-inflected dishes, such as crispy baby artichokes, octopus with white beans and chorizo, and shellfish alla plancha.
149 Broadway, Williamsburg
Pok Pok Ny (1 Star): He’s a James Beard award winner. He’s a New York Times best-selling author. He has a line of awesome drinking vinegars. He’s the chef-owner of seven critically acclaimed restaurants. And now, some of those restaurants have Michelin stars. If he wasn’t such a nice guy to boot, we might have to start sticking pins into little wax figurines of Andy Ricker.
117 Columbia Street, Columbia Street Waterfront District
Take Root (1 Star): Is it any wonder why we recently named Elise Kornack one of Brooklyn’s top food influencers? Ok, so she’s probably a tad more pumped about her shiny new Michelin star, but it’s not every day that 27-year-old (female) chefs garner such widespread attention, for operating 12-seat, three-night-a-week tasting rooms in Carroll Gardens. She might want to consider adding an extra seating or two now. Just sayin.’
187 Sackett Street, Carroll Gardens