There are 44 new additions in the 1-star category, taking the total to 287 restaurants whereas 18 have been added in the 2-star categories to give a choice of 74 restaurants. The number of properties with the highest, 3-star rating remains the same at 15. Two new 2-stars Gourmet restaurants Silvio Nickol in Vienna and Maaemo in Oslo have joined the glamorous set.
The Czech gourmet subscribers of delWine will be happy to find two new 1-star listed properties: Alcron and Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise, both in Prague. Athens might bring some cheers to the financially troubled Greek gourmets with Funky Gourmet and Galazia Hytra getting a single star each. In Copenhagen, there are 4 new one-stars, ranging in style from the informality of Relæ to the elegance of Geranium, underlying that the Michelin stars are not only for food but style and service of the restaurant.
Michelin Guide started as a small, 400-page red guide that used to be distributed free of charge to motorists and contained useful information on subjects like tyre changes and vehicle maintenance too. Today it is considered one of the top guides in gourmet dining and covers 23 countries including the USA, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau and features a selection of more than 45,000 hotels and restaurants.
The establishments covered in the Guide come in different styles, sizes and price categories and have been supposedly visited anonymously by the Michelin team of fulltime inspectors. The rating system has been frequently under fire due to the alleged unscrupulous actions of some of their inspectors. Because of the taint, the Guide may have lost some of its sheen but still generates respect in consumers’ mind.
The Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe is intended for business travelers and tourists visiting leading European cities, who want to easily find a hotel or a restaurant in the city center or near the convention center where they can entertain clients. At €23, it costs as much as perhaps the cost of a soup in the Menu. It features useful information, including maps showing the exact location of hotels and restaurants and key tourist information. It could be a useful Guide for the gourmet traveler on business or vacation from India to Europe as these restaurants usually have an excellent wine list and an option of a tasting menu with paired wines so that one can enjoy the experience without feeling nonplussed with a plethora of wines in the list.
The European countries having Michelin starred restaurants are: Austria (Vienna, Salzburg), Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp), Czech Republic (Prague), Denmark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), France (Paris, Lyons, Strasbourg, Toulouse), Germany (Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart), Greece (Athens), Hungary (Budapest), Ireland (Dublin), Italy (Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague), Norway (Oslo), Poland (Warsaw, Cracow), Portugal (Lisbon), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia), Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg), Switzerland (Bern, Geneva, Zurich) and UK (London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow). It is not surprising that the highest number of 3-star restaurants is in France;11 of the top 15, with 10 in Paris alone: Germany has maximum number of cities with starred restaurants (6).
Three Starred Restaurants in Europe are Paul Bocuse (Lyon), Alain Ducasse,au Plaza Athénée, Arpège, Astrance, Guy Savoy, · L'Ambroisie, · Le Meurice, · Le Pré Catelan, Ledoyen, Pierre Gagnaire, Épicure (Paris); Enoteca Pinchiorri (Florence), La Pergola (Rome), Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Gordon Ramsay (London). For a complete listing, you may visit eater.com, an excellent site for such information.
India does not have Michelin star rating system but Wasabe at #92 was the only Indian restaurant that finds a mention in the Top 100 listing of global restaurants of 2011, compiled by theworlds50best.com and sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, the mineral water giants of Europe.
Many of our Indian food loving subscribers, including chefs would like to see the if Wasabi gets a better rating and if there are any new additions in the Top 100- Le Cirque at the Leela New Delhi, for instance. They will have an opportunity to watch the live streaming from London at 9 pm GMT (2:30 am India time on May 1) on April 30 of the 2012 Awards.
An interesting comment on the Michelin Guide 2012: The Numero Uno of the Best Restaurant List 2011 of S. Pellegrino Guide- Noma of Denmark owned by the renowned Chef René Redzepi gets a 2-star Michelin rating only; and for second year in a row! It would be interesting to see if the restaurant retains the top position in the 2012 edition to be announced on April 30.