Miche­lin un­veil­sWash­ing­ton guide, no three-star eater­ies

12 restau­rants re­ceive stars in US cap­i­tal, where mid-At­lantic cui­sine is the high­light

China Daily (USA) - - TASTE LIFE - By ELODIE CUZIN in­Wash­ing­ton Agence France-Presse

TheMiche­lin Guide un­veiled its first edi­tion for the US cap­i­tal Washington last Thurs­day, award­ing cov­eted stars to a dozen restau­rants it said were part of a hot foodie scene.

Alas, no restau­rant got the full bless­ing of three stars, al­though three re­ceived two stars and nine got one.

The best known of the three tophonored chefs is prob­a­bly Span­ish­born Jose An­dres. He stud­ied un­der Fer­ran Adria— a pioneer of in­no­va­tive, so-called molec­u­lar cui­sine — be­fore set­tling in Washington and be­com­ing a prom­i­nent fig­ure in the restau­rant world.

An­dres has nearly a dozen es­tab­lish­ments in­Wash­ing­ton that blend Span­ish cuisines with fla­vors from Latin Amer­ica and Asia.

The one rec­og­nized last Thurs­day is called Mini Bar and has room for just 12 cus­tomers. The tast­ing menu costs $275 a head, ex­clud­ing wine, taxes and tip.

“Bravo, bravo, bravo!” Adria wrote in Span­is­hon­Twit­ter, con­grat­u­lat­ing the restau­rant on its new­sta­tus.

The other two restau­rants that re­ceived two stars are called Pineap­ple & Pearls and The Inn at Lit­tle Washington, which is ac­tu­ally a 90-minute drive out­side the city in ru­ral Vir­ginia.

Aaron Sil­ver­man, the chef at Pineap­ple& Pearls, “has per­fectly fla­vored dishes re­flect­ing a wide range of in­flu­ences,” theMiche­lin state­ment said.

The tast­ing menu there costs $250 a head. It fea­tures such treats as a yo­gurt-filled bon­bon on a spoon above a coupe of fen­nel juice, green ap­ple, cel­ery and ab­sinthe.

Sil­ver­man’s highly ac­claimed first restau­rant, Rose’s Luxury, re­ceived one star, and em­phat­i­cally posted a gi­ant “Thank you DC!!!!!!!!” on Twit­ter on be­half of both es­tab­lish­ments.

The Inn at Lit­tle Washington was hon­ored even though the guide fo­cuses only on places in the city, with­Miche­lin say­ing it was an iconic place that had trained many young chefs and most of its cus­tomers trav­eled there fromWash­ing­ton, any­way.

It serves “clas­sic and eclec­tic French cui­sine in a stun­ning set­ting,” Miche­lin said.

Al­to­gether, 107 restau­rants are re­viewed in the Miche­lin Guide for Washington, in­clud­ing 19 in the “Bib Gour­mand” cat­e­gory for good food at an af­ford­able price. Thir­tythree kinds of cui­sine are rep­re­sented in the book.

“With its own culi­nary iden­tity cen­tered around ‘mid-At­lantic cui­sine,’ over the last fewyears the culi­nary scene in Washington has un­der­gone some pro­found changes that have made its lo­cal cui­sine among the most dy­namic in the world,” Miche­lin said in a state­ment.

Washington Post food critic Tom Si­et­sema added that “some­thing like 90 restau­rants have opened just over sum­mer, which is kind of crazy.”

While wel­com­ing Miche­lin’s rec­om­men­da­tions, he said he was sur­prised at some of the restau­rants that did not make the list, such as Rasika, “the best­mod­ernIn­dian restau­rant in the coun­try.”

Mini Bar, he fur­thered, de­serves three stars for pro­vid­ing its pa­trons a “lit­tle magic car­pet ride.”

“It doesn’t be­come a restau­rant, it be­comes an ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

Of the 21,000 restau­rants fea­tured in­Miche­lin guides around the world, only just over 100 have three stars, Miche­lin says.

Un­til now the US cities that had Miche­lin Guides fo­cus­ing on their food scene were New York, Chicago and San Fran­cisco.

The Miche­lin staff that toured Washington’s restau­rants to com­pile the guide found cui­sine styles from all over the world and lo­cal chefs who had worked else­where, then re­turned and used lo­cal in­gre­di­ents tomake “truly amaz­ing food,” said Michael El­lis, in­ter­na­tional di­rec­tor of theMiche­lin guides.

He said Washington is dis­tin­guished by its brand of mid-At­lantic cui­sine, with blue crabs and rock­fish from the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and very good lo­cal meat and pro­duce.

AN­DREW CA­BALLERO-REYNOLDS / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Michael El­lis from Miche­lin poses with the Miche­lin guide book for Washington, DC at a restau­rant in Washington, DC on Oct 12. The Miche­lin Guide un­veiled its first edi­tion for the US cap­i­tal Washington last Thurs­day.

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