Washington DC Gets First Round of Michelin Stars

A dozen of the city's restaurants made the Michelin list, but no DC chef earned the coveted three-star rating.

The Dabney
Photo: © Andrew Cebulka

Since this summer's announcement that the nation's capital would be getting its own Michelin Guide, the city has been buzzing with anticipation over which of the area's restaurants would make the grade. Today, the organization announced the 12 DC eateries earning stars—and with them, a spot in the exclusive Michelin club.

While a dozen of the city's restaurants made the Michelin list, no DC chef earned the coveted three-star rating, which has only been achieved by 127 restaurants in the world. However, three of the area's eateries earned a highly respected two stars, including José Andrés' Minibar, Aaron Silverman's Pineapple and Pearls, and Patrick O'Connell's The Inn at Little Washington.

The restaurants that earned one star—interpreted as "a very good restaurant in its category" by the organization—include a line-up of DC's most critically acclaimed restaurants: Rose's Luxury, The Dabney, Blue Duck Tavern, Sushi Taro, Plume, Kinship, Masseria, Tail Up Goat, and Fiola.

With the publication of the Washington DC Michelin Guide, the capital joins a shortlist of city-specific guides, including New York, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo, Chicago, and London. Though Los Angeles and Las Vegas were previously the subjects of their own respective guides, both publications ceased production in 2010. Beyond the city guides, Michelin divvies out stars and accolades in 28 different countries.

According to José Andrés, earning a spot in the guide was a dream realized. "I could live my life without the Michelin star, but life would not be the same," the chef tells The Washington Post. "You can say whatever you want about Michelin, but Michelin is the dream of so many chefs like me. I am very proud of my team." Restaurants like Andrés' were evaluated by a group of super-secret, undercover food inspectors last fall, all of whom never go to the same restaurant twice in one year and pay for their own meals to maintain complete anonymity and objectivity.

When the tire company started the guide in 1900, it was intended to encourage more road trips. In the decades since, the name Michelin—and its nortorious stars—have become synonymous with culinary greatness. Now Andrés and a handful of his fellow D.C. chefs can claim that greatness for themselves.

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