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Thread: Michelin Stars - What are they really worth?

  1. #11
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    ive been told in the past by more than a few people that many 4 star restaurants actually operate in the red. but the accredition is so valuable it allows for the restaurant group or exec chef other avenues of income, such consulting and media ventures. i have no idea first hand.

  2. #12
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    I have probably eaten at 11 restaurants that have received stars: (5) Chicago, (5) France, (1) The Netherlands. In general all of them had excellent food and my experience was worth it, and most I would go to again. So I do find them useful to some extent. With that said, I have only gone to a few of them because they have stars, and those were in France.

    I do find that in France (and maybe Europe in general) there is a different style of star. The emphasis on replicating dishes with a set quality seems more pronounced, but restaurants in America with stars don't seem to have that same emphasis. With that said, I am not sure one style is better. I've eaten at two three-star restaurants, one in France and one in Chicago, and both were superlative experiences -- though very different.

    The only restaurant that I felt didn't deserve its star was Longman and Eagle in Chicago. Pubs have a hard time with the stars as once they get one, they attract a certain type of clientele who might be expecting more white tablecloths. So with stars also come expectations, which may or may not be met.

    I think another negative is that restaurants often feel that they have to try keep their stars. It sort of becomes a burden to carry, and changing things might threaten your 'star' and changing chefs certainly does. And if you are demoted, does that mean you are a worse restaurant? Probably not, but sometimes maybe. So just as all that positive press can be gained, it can also be taken away very easily.

    Just as Wine Spectator's top 100 wine list skews the market and expectations, so does Michelin.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  3. #13
    Michelin definitely very a lot depend in witch country you are in. And to me seems to set pressure and prices up on small restaurants that have one.
    Last time i was in one in Kyoto, Japan have super many Michelin.
    We went in small place and reserved table in really good time, no photos can be taken, chef seemed very very nerves, because of some high end guests.
    Was quite expensive restaurant and there was no real connection between chef and the guests like normally in bar type restaurant in Japan.
    Next day we jumped in one without reservation in same kind of restaurant, paid 5 time less, food was even better the day before and chef was super nice, talked to his guest and really relaxing atmosphere, But zero stars

  4. #14
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the scene in Spanglish. Were Adam Sandler is saying 3 stars is all right, but 4 is to much pressure.
    Chewie's the man.

  5. #15
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I have very limited experience with Michelin star restaurants. In the only three star place I have been to I dragged a couple of American friends and we had a good discussion there, actually including the head waitress when it got late (she was French, but her boyfriend had just started a gig at the French laundry where my US friends had also eaten before). My friends said they were more impressed by the French Laundry. It turned out, my friends were more impressed by the colorful presentations, the innovativeness of the food at FL, whereas I was happy as a clam about the traditional but perfect execution and the incredible service at the French place. The French waitress was polite enough to enjoy both. Different expectations, I guess. Oh, and the service was still impeccable, even after my US friend patronized one of the best known sommeliers in France about which wines would go with the courses he wanted...

    But I have also been to some other places with one or two stars in France and Germany where I thought I would feel more comfortable if the whole ambience had been less stiff and pretentious. That may be a danger connected to getting stars.

    Stefan

  6. #16
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Stefan,

    Have you ate least been to the two-star restaurant in Paris called Apicius? I bet you would feel at home there.

    http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Resta...ius-6479-41102

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  7. #17
    Senior Member smilesenpai's Avatar
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    A doco about the star maddness
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f-j1ctaQqw

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