Clinton Hill’s The Finch Receives A Michelin Star

Clinton Hill’s The Finch Receives A Michelin Star
the finch

When Chef Gabe McMackin prepared to open his new farm-to-table restaurant, The Finch, at 212 Greene Avenue last December, he described it as “a labor of love.” Drawing on his years of experience working at notable eateries like Roberta’s, Gramercy Tavern, and Blue Hill, he knew to start small — opening with limited hours and dishes, focusing on classic cocktails and flavors at he bar, building his staff as he goes — in order to perfect the basics than to spread himself thin with an overly complicated operation.

His instinct was spot on. The Finch has flourished in the just-over-nine months since it opened. And now it has earned its first Michelin star — a distinction that places it among the top restaurants of the world.

One Michelin star denotes “a very good restaurant in its category” and The Finch is the only recipient this year from Brooklyn that not Williamsburg or the waterfront.

the finch

For those of us who have dined at The Finch, we also know that it is a unique restaurant in being both outstanding in the kitchen and homey in atmosphere.

“We want people to be comfortable and excited to be here,” said McMackin last year, “and we want to make that happen not just through food and drink, but through environment and architecture.

“Everybody and everything here is friendly and inviting,” he said. “We’re here to have fun with everybody who walks through the door.”

Now that his restaurant has been catapulted to the world stage, McMackin — who described the honor as an amazing, unexpected “surprise,” — says he hopes the recognition will lead to more business, but not too much.

Photo by Fort Greene Focus.
Photo by Fort Greene Focus.

“If we’re alienating our core customer, making that person that has been the bedrock of our business for the last ten months feel uncomfortable about coming in, that’s a huge challenge,” he told Grubstreet. “The people who make this place special are the folks who come in on a Wednesday night and just want to do their thing.

“The sense of it being a neighborhood restaurant and a destination is appealing,” McMackin added. “I feel like we’ve been that way since the beginning, but we’re now there on a somewhat larger scale. There are other restaurants, like Gramercy Tavern, that do that incredibly well and have for a long time.”

The Finch joins fellow Clinton Hill eatery Speedy Romeo in getting a hat tip from Michelin; the popular pizza restaurant received a Michelin Bib last week.

Congratulations to the entire Finch team!

Reporting contributed by Nora Whelan.

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