Saturday, October 02, 2010

Michelin’s New York City 2011 Bib Gourmand Restaurants


Michelin recently announced their picks for NYC's "Bib Gourmand" for 2011; here's a portion of the press release ...


With its full list of New York restaurants – including the famed Michelin stars – planned for Oct. 6, MICHELIN announced today that 21 New York City restaurants will be added to the MICHELIN Guide New York City 2011 in the “Bib Gourmand” category. Bib Gourmand restaurants are also known as “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value.” They are restaurants serving two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).
... at the end of each investigative process, MICHELIN inspectors also designate the restaurants they feel deliver the most value to consumers. These are Bib Gourmands. They are an ideal resource for consumers looking for the perfect meal at a reasonable price. For everyday New Yorkers, Bib Gourmand restaurants represent the best hidden culinary value that the city has to offer. Introduced in 1997, Bib Gourmand restaurants are identified by a red symbol depicting the head of the Michelin Man.

In total, there are 95 Bib Gourmand restaurants in New York City. A full list of Bib Gourmand restaurants can be found here:

The list may also be found at this link:

Michelin’s New York City Bib Gourmands for 2011

Reviewing this list, I found that I've never even heard of most of these restaurants, much less been to them. Having said that, though, I do have my own picks for NYC Cheap Eats -- I'll give a few, if anyone's interested & planning a trip here.

From the ones on the list that I do know, I found that a couple are even in my own 'hood in The BK: Motorino and Mesa Coyoacan. Both are just a few blocks walk from my apartment.


Motorino, a somewhat upscale pizza parlor, I've never been there, but many people rave about it (especially their brunch), so I may have to give in one of these days.

Mesa Coyoacan, a kind of fancy Mexican restaurant, I've been to several times in the past year; their ceviche is pretty good and I've heard their dessert of churros with chocolate dipping sauce is mighty tasty.

Zarela is also an upscale Mexican restaurant (in Manhattan) and I've eaten there exactly once, back in March of 2007 – an excellent spicy chicken dish (but you really do have to like your food spicy!).  Interesting trivia about this: I’ve heard that the boyfriend of Zarela, the owner, is actually the former porn actor from the '70's & '80's, Jamie Gillis.


Les Halles on Park Avenue is Anthony Bourdain's restaurant; I've never been, but I'm hoping to go for my birthday this year.

Katz is a deli not far from the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge; they've been around forever -- never been there, either, but I've heard they have massive sandwiches. I believe they were featured on an episode of The Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food".


A pretty good French restaurant in Manhattan's Meatpacking District is Paradou. They have an all-you-can-drink brunch on weekends for $30 and various specials during the week, including free wine with dinner on Monday nights and they just started all-you-can-eat roast suckling pig dinners on Sunday night for $30.

I didn't see them on the Michelin list, but I think they at least deserve an Honorable Mention.

Another great place for cheap Mexican food -- in a more casual, less trendy environment -- is Benny's Burritos in the West Village section of Manhattan.

I like 'em 'cuz they've got $5 margaritas and a low-carb option for food. Also, they have a weekend brunch -- until this past Spring, it used to be unlimited drinks, but now, they charge $2 for refills. I think this is still a decent bargain -- I can leave brunch well - fed and tipsy and pay only $25-30 for the pleasure.  Check out the reviews here:


Duke’s, north of Union Square – perhaps closer to The Flatiron District – is also a terrific little hangout offering Southern – style comfort food in a roadhouse ambiance. With good food reasonably priced – not to mention a bevy of super-cute waitresses and excellent tunes constantly playing in the background – it makes for a great sports bar, where you’ll always find it packed on a Sunday afternoon during the NFL season. Again, they have a very affordable Liquid Brunch on weekends – add $10 to whatever you order and that turns it into all-you-can-drink. As with Benny’s Burritos (above), you’ll waddle and/or stagger out at under $30 total. 

For a nice little post – brunch stroll on any weekend afternoon, I highly recommend walking a couple blocks south, down to Union Square Park, where they conduct a Farmers Market; you can find great produce (among other types of foods) at a bargain from local – area growers who make the long early – morning trek into The Big City from upstate New York and Long Island (tomatoes and apples as big as your fist and I AIN’T kiddin’!).  You may just wind up finding yourself a perfect dessert or post – brunch snack to sop up all of that alcohol!