| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 2 Michelin awarded its coveted
stars to a handful of New York restaurants that feature Chinese,
Korean or Japanese inspired dishes in the 2013 edition of its
Big Apple guide that appears on Wednesday.
Masa, the city's only Asian restaurant with three stars and
considered the gold standard of Asian cooking in New York,
retained its top ranking.
Michelin again awarded Soto and David Chang's Momofuku Ko
restaurant two stars and gave one star to Cafe China, Hakkasan,
Lan Sheng, 15 East and Jungkin this year, along with 11 other
Asian restaurants that kept their one-star ratings.
Laut, which serves Southeast Asian cuisine and had one star,
was taken off the list.
"We have a lot of Asian restaurants which upped their ante.
They are becoming more adventurous and creative. They are able
to deliver new versions on old dishes that have really caught
our attention," said Michael Ellis, international director of
the Michelin Guides.
Asian restaurants in New York - with a population that is 13
percent Asian - have been given relatively few stars by
Michelin. Critics say the rankings tend to favor high-end
restaurants that serve European-inspired food.
Ellis said the success of chef Chang helped raise the
standards and popularity of Asian restaurants.
"He is a Korean American who decided to do new takes on
Korean food and hit the ball out of the park," said Ellis, a
native New Yorker who now lives in France. "He's been a role
model for a lot of chefs."
While there were notable changes at the one- and two-star
levels in the latest guide, there were no surprises among the
elite three-star restaurants.
Seven restaurants achieved Michelin's highest distinction,
the same number as the 2012 guide. They included Jean Georges,
Le Bernardin, Masa, Per Se, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park and
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare.
Michelin also recognized the growing prominence of Brooklyn
as a dining destination, giving one star to Blanca, which
features a $180 tasting menu.
Four other restaurants in the borough received a star and
joined nine newcomers among the 52 one-star restaurants in New
Atera, which opened earlier this year, made its debut with
Michelin's second highest rating. The restaurant with an open
kitchen won raves for its cutting-edge dishes. Head chef Matthew
Lightner worked at Noma in Copenhagen, which has been ranked the
world's best restaurant.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and SHO Shaun Hergatt were absent
from the list this year. The now closed restaurants received two
stars last year, Ellis said.
Michelin dropped Kajitsu, which serves Japanese vegetarian
dishes, to one-star status from two-star because of a change of
chefs, he added.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Andre Grenon)