NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Michelin is best-known for its star-rated restaurants. But Michelin has added dozens of New York City restaurants to its Bib Gourmand list, which featured affordable eateries. The newbies are extremely honored.
"I'm not going to lie—the hair stood up on my arms, I got goosebumps, I was very excited," Melissa O'Donnell, the owner and chef of Lil Gem on the Lower East Side, told Fox 5. "It's a very big affirmation of what I'm doing."
O'Donnell said that making the cut for her modern Lebanese cuisine was exhilarating.
"For me, it's a huge honor. To me, Michelin is the standard," O'Donnell said. "I cannot to this day tell you who came in. I have no idea who the inspectors are. I don't know really exactly what the criteria is."
And that's the mystery. It's really not known when these inspectors visit.
Michelin's Bib Gourmand added 27 new entries. In total, 129 restaurants are on the list. What this means for customers is not only is the food good but so are the prices. You can expect to get an appetizer, entrée, and a glass of wine or dessert for around $40.
"This is probably the more useful list—this is probably the better list than the stars. The stars are for really high-end restaurants, places where it's going to be hundreds and hundreds of dollars to have dinner," Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma said. "This is more like a list of restaurants where you can actually go eat."
Cervo's on the Lower East Side is also a newbie to the list.
"All the food that we make is not per se Portuguese or Spanish traditionally, however, we are inspired by that," Chef Aaron Crowder said. "It feels great. It feels good to be validated."
Lil Gem | 29A Clinton Street, New York, NY | 646-368-1392 | lilgemnyc.com
Cervo's | 43 Canal Street, New York, NY | 212-226-2545 | cervosnyc.com