Earlier this week, the Michelin Guide announced their Bib Gourmand list, which this year includes 37 Brooklyn spots. Bib Gourmand is the group’s designation that recognizes restaurants that allow you to enjoy two courses and a drink or dessert for $40 or less. The ratings were paused last year during the height of the pandemic, but have since returned. Star ratings, for more expensive fine dining, were announced today and include eight restaurants in the borough.
Eleven Brooklyn restaurants were included for the first time on the Bib Gourmand list, and one new restaurant in the starred list, marking success during a particularly challenging year. In addition, two Brooklyn restaurants were given the extremely prestigious designation of two stars, Aska in Williamsburg and Blanca in East Williamsburg.
For Pierozek, a Polish restaurant in Greenpoint, their first Bib Gourmand designation came as a welcome surprise, co-owner Alexandra Kucharski said.
“It was just so unexpected. We didn’t even know that the results were coming out this week. We’re so grateful and so happy to have received this,” Kucharski said. “We worked so hard this year to keep it together and stay alive and stay open.” She added that neighbors and regulars have already expressed excitement about the announcement, and shown support on social media, an added bonus.
Michelin remains the most prestigious designation for many restaurants, despite controversy in past years regarding what types of food and cuisine are most commonly recognized, as well as their famously thorough anonymous review process.
Rangoon, a Burmese restaurant in Crown Heights, was also named to the Bib Gourmand list for the first time after opening during the pandemic.
“It was totally unexpected. It’s awesome. Myo [Moe], our chef, and I have been working every day, literally, since we opened. It just gave us a second wind to just keep going and work some more. It’s a fantastic validation,” co-owner Daniel Bendjy said. “Basically we had to open the restaurant four different times in one year. We had a regular opening, a take-out and delivery opening, an outdoor dining opening, then back to indoor dining. It’s constantly changing, so [this] just validates and affirms that all in all we’ve been doing a good job.”
Just five of the restaurants named to either list were ‘South of the Park,’ though Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Ditmas Park each had a spot or two. Williamsburg dominated both for starred reviews and Bib Gourmands, along with Park Slope, Greenpoint, and Downtown Brooklyn.
Three of the one-star designated restaurants are located on the same block, just feet away from each other on Broadway in Williamsburg— Meadowsweet, Francie (the only new starred restaurant in the borough), and Peter Luger Steakhouse.
Meadowsweet thanked their team in an Instagram post announcing the designation.
“All the changes and transitions you have all had to go through and the flexibility and dedication you have all shown to keep Meadowsweet going means so much to [us]. Meadowsweet would never have been awarded this without all your hard work so thank you all so very very much!” they wrote.
The co-owner of For All Things Good, Matt Diaz, found out that the spot had been named to the Bib Gourmand list for the first time while he was doing laundry.
“We found out via Instagram. I got a notification that said we were tagged in a post by Michelin Guide Official, and I was like ‘Oh my god, what is that about?’ Diaz said.
While he’s thrilled and honored by the designation, he wants to make sure that For All Things Good is still available to the neighborhood and that people that live nearby won’t have too much trouble visiting.
“[Our regulars are] scared that they can’t get a seat anymore,” Diaz laughed. “Although I love, love, love that we’re really busy, especially after this last really rough period, I’m concerned because I do want it to be accessible to the community.”
The full list of Bib Gourmand and Starred restaurants can be found below.
(* indicated new to the list)