Serious congratulations are in order for Chef Cesar Ramirez of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare. His impossible-to-get-a-reservation restaurant in a downtown Brooklyn grocery store just received its third Michelin star, joining an elite group of just seven NYC area restaurants (all of which, other than Chef’s Table, are in Manhattan).
The Michelin Guide is a French-based publication that rates restaurants around the world. Three stars is their highest rating, and Chef’s Table shares the honor with Per Se, Daniel, Masa, Eleven Madison Park (which, like Chef’s Table, just won its third star this year), Jean Georges, and Le Bernardin.
We’re assuming this is not going to make it easier for us to get a seat…
Ramirez chatted with Grub Street about how he got the news.
“The Michelin lady called me and she said, ‘We’ve got some good news for you … ” And then I really didn’t believe her. But when the press started calling, I guess it hit me. I didn’t cry but I was very, very happy.”
What’s next? Wine! Chef’s Table, which has been famously BYOB, will start serving its own wine pairings in the next four weeks, a relief in more ways than one to chef Ramirez:
“Do you know how hard it was seeing people bring $5 bottles of wine “paired” with our food? Or even the expensive bottles. Borolo alongside first courses? Oh my God. That’s just too strong! It’s going to be so much better now.”
And Ramirez told Grub Street he’s just as happy to skip the post-Michelin victory lap and get right back to cooking.
“Listen, I keep my head down low. My best customers know that about me. People who come here just because it’s a hard reservation, they don’t even get it. The ingredients here, there are none better. Nothing better, that’s the absolute truth. I don’t need to be on TV; I don’t need twenty restaurants to make me feel good. I don’t need anything but to cook.”
How did the rest of Brooklyn stack up? Dressler in Williamsburg held on to its one star, as did Peter Luger, River Cafe, and Saul. As for the rest of our favorite neighborhood spots? We’re just as happy they aren’t listed. We need to have somewhere we can still get a seat for dinner around here….