The Michelin Guide New York City 2016 is out, and sixteen of the recipients serve Japanese cuisine, three more than last year.
A Michelin star is a symbol of fine dining, and these Japanese restaurants reflect quality and mastery of technique in the culinary world.
Masa, the ultimate sushi establishment run by chef Masa Takayama, remained the only New York-based Japanese restaurant with a three-star rating. Three Japanese restaurants received two stars – the same three as last year and pretty much every year – while twelve received one.
Four Japanese restaurants made their one-star debuts: Cagen, Hirohisa, Sushi Yasuda, and Tempura Matsui. At Cagen Chef Toshio Tomita, a former corporate chef with Nobu, introduces New Yorkers to the concept of kappo ryori, high-end, multicourse cuisine that focuses on the balance of fresh seasonal ingredients. The menu at Hirohisa reflects the influence of Echizen, an old province of Japan, which is now the northern part of Fukui Prefecture. Chef Hirohisa Hayashi hails from this region, which is steadfastly rural and proud of its natural resources. Sushi Yasuda may be new to the Michelin guide, but it’s been a part of the New York sushi scene since 1999. By contrast, Tempura Matsui is new to New York, having opened this summer, serving tempura in a fine dining setting.
Once perennial Michelin-starred sushi spot 15 East lost its one-star rating this year, possibly as a result of the departure of Chef Masato Shimizu.
Congratulations to all of the star recipients, and we hope our readers will dine at each of these restaurants at least once in their lifetimes. But if you’re not interested in shelling out hundreds of dollars at Masa, check out the more affordable Japanese restaurants that were included on the Bib Gourmands list. Let’s take a peek inside.
Three Stars: “Exceptional, worth a special journey”
Masa – 10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center
In 2009 Masa became the first Japanese restaurant in the US to receive the Michelin Guide’s highest honor of three stars. The well-appointed sushi restaurant is considered to have this country’s most expensive tasting menu.
Two Stars: “Excellent cuisine, worth a detour”
Ichimura at Brushstroke – 30 Hudson Street, Tribeca
Eiji Ichimura’s Edo-mae sushi at Chef David Bouley’s Brushstroke
Momofuku Ko – 8 Extra Place, East Village
David Chang’s blend of American Nouveau, Japanese/Sushi, and Korean cuisine moved to a new location late last year.
Soto – 357 Sixth Avenue, West Village
Sotohiro Kosugi’s sushi bar
One Star: “A very good restaurant in its category”
Brushstroke – 30 Hudson Street, Tribeca
Kaiseki tasting menus from a collaborative effort between Japan’s top culinary school, the Tsukiji Culinary Institute, and Chef David Bouley – whose eponymous fine-dining restaurant also received one Michelin star.
Cagen NEW – 414 E. 9th Street
Sushi/Kappo Ryori Cuisine
Hirohisa NEW – 73 Thompson Street
Seasonal Japanese cuisine
Jewel Bako – 239 E. 5th Street, East Village
Kajitsu – 414 E. 9th Street, East Village
Shojin Ryori (Zen Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine)
Kyo Ya – 94 E. 7th Street, East Village
Rosanjin – 141 Duane Street, Tribeca
Sushi Azabu – 428 Greenwich Street, Tribeca
Tokyo-style “Edo-mae” Sushi
Sushi of Gari – 402 E. 78th Street, Upper East Side
Sushi Yasuda NEW – 204 E. 43rd Street
Tempura Matsui NEW – 222 E. 39th Street
Tori Shin – 362 W. 53rd Street
Bib Gourmands: “Inspectors’ favorites for good value”
Michelin defines “good value” as spending $40 or less – excluding tax and gratuity – for two courses and a glass of wine or dessert
Ganso Ramen NEW – 25 Bond Street, Brooklyn
Hide-Chan Ramen – 248 E. 52nd Street
Hino Maru Ramen – 33-18 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, Queens
Jin Ramen – 3183 Broadway, Harlem
Momofuku Noodle Bar – 171 First Avenue, East Village
Momokawa – 157 E. 28th Street, Kips Bay
Mu Ramen NEW – 12-09 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Shalom Japan – 310 S. 4th Street, Brooklyn
“Authentically inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food”
Soba-ya – 229 E. 9th Street, East Village
Japanese Soba Noodles
The Michelin Guide New York City 2016 is on sale now $18.99. For a complete list of the restaurants in New York receiving Michelin stars, click here.