Michelin Guide New York City 2016 Restaurants: An Inside Look

The Michelin Guide New York City is celebrating its first decade in the Big Apple, having recently anointed the city’s best restaurants from a city with among the richest selection in the country. We’re pleased to highlight the Michelin Guide New York City 2016 restaurants and provide an inside look at how the stars awarded.

Michelin Guide NYC 2016 Winners

Michelin’s top secret elite team of professional inspectors have been swarming the city over the past year, literally dining out twice a day, every day, evaluating and re-evaluating well over a thousand of the city’s eateries to tasting their way to the finest. It’s an enviable job, but a grueling one. The inspectors consider a broad array of criteria to sift out the very best. This year, out of hundreds considered, a mere 76 got stars.

Receiving just one of these coveted stars is a considered a huge honor and is often a career-changing affirmation of a chef’s (and his kitchen’s) talent. The dark side is the incredible pressure to maintain that standard since Michelin continually checks in (always anonymously) to ensure things are up to snuff.

Alas, the lion’s share of the attention invariably gets showered on the perennial (albeit deserving) winners that garner the pinnacle of three-stars: Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Masa. Without a doubt, each offers breathtaking culinary delights. But their experience is more akin to a seismic event than an ordinary meal. For mere mortals, though, just scoring a table at most of them can require months of waiting. The typically epic tasting menus can be multi-hour endurance challenges that culminate with a bill that may rival your mortgage payment. They are memorable extravaganzas perfect special events and life milestones but probably not a weekly ritual for most of us.

Hidden in plain view, though, are some lesser-known finds among New York City’s 60-odd one-star winners. Despite the coveted endorsement of Michelin, many of these places are neighborhood treasures sometimes better known to well-prepared European tourists brandishing their telltale Red Michelin guides than to local New Yorkers. Get in while you can. These spots are home to some of the city’s very best meals and their secret won’t last forever.

Here are a few of our favorites…

The Musket Room
Self-trained Kiwi chef Matt Lambert first solo effort caught the eye of the Michelin crew mere weeks after opening and, in a rare feat, earned its first star just a few months later. A celebration of the ingredients and cuisine of his native New Zealand, Lambert’s kitchen is constantly innovating but always seeming to hit the mark. The understated, stark dining room is the ideal canvas to show off his gorgeously painterly dishes. The menu now includes a nine-course chef’s tasting, but the a la carte is hard to beat. The signature Red Deer flavored with deconstructed essence of gin is a sophisticated and nuanced combination of flavors that never gets tired.

2016 Michelin NYC Winners

The Finch
Another rookie, Gabe McMackin, quietly launched Finch Clinton Hill’s The Finch less than a year ago, but the intrepid Michelin crew discovered his bold-flavored approach to farm-to-table soon after. Much to the chef’s surprise and delight – they were soon awarded their first star. McMackin’s conceptual menu can seem deceptively simple, but his tiny (I mean tiny) kitchen packs tremendous skill executing each dish beautifully. His much discussed, but not to be missed, $8 bread plate is a restrained showcase for exceptional, local ingredients to shine including some of the best butter you may ever have the privilege of eating.

Michelin Guide NYC 2016 Winners

Polo Dobkin, who earned his first Michelin nod at the now defunct Dressler is now on his own and better than ever. His delicate pastas and earthy mains (try the duck with black mission fig) prove the first round of kudos were no fluke. The unrecognizably transformed space is a lighter, more inviting home to kick back and savor the kitchen’s prowess.

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Portland Dining Guide: 4 Delicious Neighborhoods to Get to Know in the PDX

Portland, Oregon, is one of America’s top cities for foodies. It was an early adopter of the trends you now see everywhere: farm to table, food carts, and locally-produced beers and spirits. Travel + Leisure ranked Portland as one of their top 10 food cities – ahead of New York and Chicago. Thrillist puts it in their five best places for great grub.

The sheer volume of amazing restaurants in Portland can make it tough to choose where to go first. To make the food scene less overwhelming, we scouted four neighborhoods that are home to some of the city’s best eateries for a delicious Portland dining guide. Focus your food tourism in these areas and you can’t go wrong.


When Portland was making the transition from rough-and-tumble port town to hipster paradise, the Pearl District was one of the first neighborhoods that put it on the map. It remains a must-visit for anyone looking for quality noshes. Irving St. Kitchen combines Southern comfort food and classic French techniques with magnifique results. Peruvian food is still one of the hottest new cuisines to capture Americans’ imaginations in recent years, and Andina is the best place to get it in Portland. For more tips on the Pearl District, visit http://explorethepearl.com/. And click here to find more great restaurants near the Pearl District.

Portland Dining Guide


I lived off SE Division when I first moved to Portland in 2001, and it was tough to score a decent meal in the neighborhood. Today it’s known as Restaurant Row and is home to many of Portland’s best eateries. Ava Gene’s was named one of the country’s best new restaurants by Bon Appétit in 2013 and is still winning raves for dishes using the finest Northwest-produced veggies and meats.

If it’s fresh Pacific Northwest seafood you’re craving, B&T Oyster Bar is one of the best bets in town. You can also try to score a seat at Roe, which is located directly behind B&T. Their seven-course, prix-fixe menu is worth the splurge.

Portland Dining Guide


Another up-and-coming ‘hood in southeast Portland is the Central Eastside Industrial District. Don’t let the often-bland storefronts in this still-gritty area fool you; the food you’ll find inside these restaurants is truly special. Le Pigeon, a French-inspired restaurant with a firm commitment to sourcing from local farms, has been one of the city’s must-visit dinner spots for years. Also, Renata was voted 2015 restaurant of the year by The Oregonian newspaper. Its homey atmosphere and quality cuisine from two former French Laundry chefs are likely to help it remain a favorite. Italian restaurant Nostrana is helmed by Cathy Whims, who’s won more awards than you can shake a smoky rotisserie drumstick at and is absolutely worth a visit.

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9 Top Breakfast Restaurants: Start the Day in a Delicious Way

At OpenTable, we believe that all meals were created equal. No, not what you’re served because, obviously, spaghetti trumps a salad anytime. Rather, they are of equal importance. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner each represents an opportunity to treat yourself to a memorable dining experience. And yet – breakfast in America (ahem!) often gets short shrift. In the interest of encouraging you to make your first meal your best meal of the day, here are 9 top breakfast restaurants across the nation.

The Voya, Mountain View, California
The Voya bills itself as a place for executive dining — and delivers on that promise with its attention to detail. Tables are set with colorful Italian glassware and linens; made-to-order beignets are served with warm maple syrup and fresh-made whipped cream. Its Latin-American menu, served at lunch and dinner, leans more toward traditional American fare for its early-day offerings, with omelettes, Eggs Benedict, and steel-cut oatmeal, making it the perfect setting for a Silicon Valley business breakfast.

Top Breakfast Restaurants

Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.
Locals and visitors to our nation’s capital are stuck on Blue Duck Tavern, quite possibly owing to their coveted pecan sticky buns. Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche and Chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy spin innovative takes on your morning favorites, such as their BDT Benedict (which for fall 2015, is made with housemade pastrami, Brussels kraut, and a thousand island hollandaise) and buckwheat waffles. Even Donald and Hilary would agree that this is bipartisan dining at its best.

Top Breakfast Restaurants

Sterling’s Brunch Buffet at Bally’s Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Looking for a sure way to beat the odds in Vegas? You can always bet on breakfast at the indulgent Sterling Brunch Buffet at BLT Steak in Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino where you will enjoy endless pours of Perrier-Jouët Champagne, Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and unlimited American sturgeon caviar (pictured). Then, choose from made-to-order omelettes, Alaskan king crab, truffle mashed potatoes, lobster tails, oysters, and plenty of gluten-free options. In addition to self-service, table service is available. Be sure to request a personally guided tour of all the offerings before you dive in.

Top Breakfast Restaurants

Farmshop LA, Santa Monica, California
Serving breakfast daily and brunch on weekends, Farmshop raises casual morning dining to the highest level using locally sourced products, such as duck eggs from Apricot Lane Farms. Pastries are baked fresh and served with Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Co. butter and housemade preserves. Plus, Farmshop’s associated market will amply stock your pantry at home for the some takeaway goodness.

Top Breakfast Restaurants

Anzu, San Francisco, California
For a very healthful and delicious variation on your day’s first meal, try the traditional Japanese breakfast at Anzu in the Hotel Nikko. Salt-cured salmon is grilled to perfection and served on fresh white rice with a raw egg (I know, but trust me on this one: crack the egg, add a few of drops of soy sauce, mix it together, and pour it right on the hot rice. Awesome!), Japanese tsukemono pickles, and a bowl of miso soup. And if you are particularly adventurous, go for the fermented soybeans (natto) which, when topped with a little soy sauce, hot mustard, and chopped scallion, is a brilliantly healthful way to greet the day.

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Table for One: The Art of Dining Alone #hackdining

Our recent revelations about solo dining continue to captivate media and diners alike. To continue the conversation, we’ve asked contributor Nevin Martell, a frequent solo diner to share his insights and tips for a terrific dining experience for those who do so with a bit of trepidation. Here are his insights on the art of dining alone. 

“Table for one, sir?”

I get this question a lot. As a food writer, I dine out constantly to try new places and revisit familiar favorites. Though I love breaking bread with family, friends, and colleagues, it’s oftentimes not often possible to line up our schedules with my ever-present deadlines. And so I’ll find myself alone at the host stand.

While many restaurants, especially those recently highlighted on OpenTable’s Top 25 Restaurants for Solo Diners list, are thrilled to welcome solo diners, not every host makes it easy. Perhaps you sense they’re giving you a look of pity as they pick up a lone menu and lead you off to a table tucked away in a dark corner, which they think is what you want since they incorrectly assume you’re ashamed by your singleton status.

Despite any minor speed bumps that can come with solo supping, I enjoy it. The solitary time allows me to slow down for a little while, concentrate on the food, and maybe catch up on some email or make progress on my reading. It sounds oxymoronic, but it’s nice to get away from people in a room full of people. It’s the same reason why I go to bustling coffee shops packed with chattering hordes to get away from distractions when I’m writing.

However, for a long time, I didn’t like sitting across from an empty chair. I would spend most of the meal looking around nervously to see if people were staring at me, eat as quickly as possible, and oftentimes invent stories for the servers as to why I was dining alone. “My friend had to unexpectedly work late. He’s a surgeon. He’s probably saving someone’s life right now.”

It took me years to realize it, but there is an art to eating alone. Here are six ways you can maximize your experience as a solo diner.

Don’t let people make you feel like you’re a social outcast.

You’re choosing to dine by yourself, so be proud of it. Own it. Think of the meal as some quality me time. If the host asks you the most judgmental of questions – “So, it’ll just be you?” – smile widely and respond, “I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be with.”

Sit where you want, not where they want you to sit.

All too often, single diners are relegated to an end seat at the bar by the service station or the most undesirable table in the restaurant. If you see the host is leading you to one of these desolate hellholes, politely ask for another seat. This is the perfect time to enjoy the view, so ask for somewhere you can admire your surroundings or do some serious people watching.Continue Reading