“The Michelin restaurant guide arrives with the new century, and will see the new millennium as well. “
– Motto. (Michelin Guide, 1900)
The French Guide Michelin ( in English: Michelin Guide ) is a famous restaurant and hotel guide, whose recognition called “Michelin star” became an international symbol of excellence in the field of cookery. Edouard Michelin French businessman and his brother André, invented the detachable tire in 1891.
Since the invention was a great success in 1889 they founded the French company “Michelin” in Clermont-Ferrand. They released a map that included excellent restaurants and hotels, that the motorists buy them and use even more the Michelin tires. This way they were trying to persuade tourists to take detours along the roads and use Michelin tires. The Michelin Guide proved to be a very useful publication (initially handed out for free).
In the beginning it only contained a map of Paris and the roads leading to the surrounding cities, to help the drivers. The company encouraged travelers to gather more data on the roads and the surrounding hotels, then they expanded the later publications with these informations.
“ International symbol of excellence ”
These publications already included separately the places recommended by the French Automobile Club and evaluated the quality and supply of the accommodations. From 1904 the guide became international, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom also got a dedicated volume.
The red-covered books first appeared in 1919 and they were related to several countries at the same time. The green Michelin books were first issued before the Second World War.
Today, ViaMichelin -Michelin´s subsidiary- makes maps and recommendations available in digital form also. The books are valid throughout Europe, in 2007 New York and San Francisco hotels and restaurants were included in a separate publication. From 2009, the European and American red and green guides, will be accessible on Nokia mobile phones using Nokia Maps 3.0 software.
The iPhone owners can purchase the software through Apple’s online stores. On 13 October 2009 the Michelin company published the first edition of MICHELIN Guide Kyoto Osaka 2010. The publication contains 150 starred restaurants and Ryokans in Japan.
The investigation is based on five criteria:
- Examination of the quality of food
- Perfection of baking, cooking, flavoring
- Kitchen originality, style
- Price/value ratio
- Visit frequency
During the investigation, inspectors (anonymous critics) label only the foods, not the restaurant furniture, the place settings and the serving. Three stars is the maximum. An asterisk denotes a “restaurant boasting with a pleasant, excellent cuisine which means a pleasant detour”. Two stars are entitled to the restaurants which deserve a long evasion. The three-star restaurants in themselves are worth a trip.
And how do they decide? It’s hard to tell, but it is surely not enough to prepare traditional dishes perfectly. Something innovative and the creation of exciting new flavors is needed. Testing is always going incognito.
Let`s take an overview of the 6 best restaurant with three Michelin stars:
6. Kitcho (Japan):
“Kitcho” means “good omen”. It is the world’s most expensive Michelin-starred restaurant with three stars. The award-winning Kunio Tokuoka is the leader, who replaced his grandfather.
In addition to the restaurant´s special green tea they also serve raw salmon with lemon and turtle soup- for 525 euro/person. Many politicians, artsits and businesspeople are frequent customers. Japanese tea ceremony is one of their major services. The restaurant falls in the “Kaiseki” category (japanese haute cuisine).
5. Le Cinq (France):
Owning three Michelin stars , the restaurant Le Cinq offers a sumptuous dining room lavishly decorated in light, shades and gold. Its large French windows offer a remarkable view on the elegant interior Marble Court.
The table linen, the china porcelain and the silverware were made specifically for this legendary hotel. The menu is inspired by traditional French cuisine and new culinary trends. The ingredients are procured always in season and spring from mostly our regions. A children’s menu is available on demand.
4. Le Vivarais (France):
Not far from the Place Bellecour, this kitchen explores Lyon’s gastronomic heritage with great delight.
Working only with fresh-picked products by big houses, father and daughter feast with their pressed pig foot with foie gras, their terrine of potatoes with trumpets rosevals, their pie crust Richelieu (fatty liver, lean beef, chicken breast, mushrooms, pistachios); their flowing egg, fried snail juice and gnocchi with herbs and twine parsley butter…
It also comes specially to Vivarais to experience genuine pike quenelle Nantua sauce; we take a picture (true) next to the stuffed whole roasted pig on a spit; we devour the roast veal kidneys in casserole fat. Desserts, home obviously, are in tune with this traditional and yet firmly rooted in the season: iced vacherin, soufflé glazed with green chartreuse, chocolate fondant. The restaurant owns three Michelin stars.
3. L`Arpege (France):
“I define myself as a roaster, we like the visual and sound cooking on the plate. This cooking needs a few hours of attention. What the cooks and myself are watching, turning back, groping, listening… The meats rest, keep their softness and are cooked at heart.” says Alain Passard, the chef of the prestigious restaurant, L`Arpege, which takes place in Paris, France.
The famous place holds three Michelin stars. It was voted 19th best restaurant in the world in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2011. It is suitable for vegetarian and vegan dining. L’Arpege reached 19/20 in Gault Millau in 1990.
The prices of the meals are between 70 and 120 euros. What specialties can we get for this amount of money, which definitely cannot be considered too little? Winter bouillabaisse with saffron from Limousin; fine multicolored vegetable ravioli consumed with amber; Saint-Jacques shells from Granville; Chocolate Millefeuille “gourmandise all chocolate”; Soufflé honey from our hives harvest, August 2015.
2. Per Se (New York):
Per Se is claimed to be an “urban interpretation” of The French Laundry, a three Michelin starred restaurant led by chef Thomas Keller.
It was designed by Adam D. Tihany, and has a beautiful view on Central Park and Columbus Circle. Per Se opened in 2004. Owning three Michelin stars the restaurant focuses on French technique and the finest quality ingredients available.
Their wine list is award-winning, containing more than 2000 different wines (older wines and wines released in limited quantities). To appreciate their engagement to spread the highest international standards of quality in hospitality and gastronomy, Per Se became a member of Relais & Chateaux, Relais Gourmands and Traditions & Qualité organizations. A prix fixe menu costs 310 dollars per person.
1. Eleven Madison Park (New York):
Eleven Madison Park is a contemporary restaurant in New York, under the direction of chef Daniel Humm, who also has four stars from The New York Times and the Five Diamond Award by AAA. The restaurant offers a seasonal tasting menu made from local ingredients.
A meal at them consists of 7-9 courses and they are likely to change the preferences of the menu if you have any kind of allergy. The all inclusive price of the tasting menu is 295 dollars per guest. They also can offer private dining rooms with beautiful views of Madison Square Park. The South Private Dining Room can receive 18 seated guests, while the North Private Dining Room is capable of 34 guests. The restaurant owns three Michelin stars.
You may be surprised, but Japan is the world leader in gastronomy, France is “only” the second. “Ahead of Paris, Tokyo is definitely the gastronomy capital with 261 stars and the most three-star restaurants, but we must not forget that the city has as many restaurants as whole France. ” – emphasized Jean-Luc Nare, the Michelin guide director of France Info.
He thinks it was expected that the number of three- star restaurants in Tokyo with 32 million inhabitants will exceed Paris ratios. Since the French capital has only 40 thousands of places to choose from, compared to the 160000 of Tokyo. The two-thirds of awarded Tokyo’s restaurants offers Japanese cuisine, while the others mainly French, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.
Michelin red booklet is one of the oldest, best-selling restaurant guides in the world, which has a significant impact on the turnover of restaurants as well. Michelin’s system gets of course a lot of criticism because of the slowness and the French-centered reality, not to mention the fact that sometimes they do not dare to take away the stars form some chefs.
Paul Bocuse, the father of French cuisine is for example like this, who owns his three stars since for his restaurant called “Auberge du Pont de Collonges” since 1965. Despite the criticism it is likely that the Michelin guide makes a large impact on the international perception of gastronomy.
So do not hesitate to visit these restaurants, if you have enough money in your pocket. They really deserve their price, and quality is more important than quantity. Less is more, even if you have to pay more for it. Read also our next article about the 6 best two Michelin starred restaurants.