Three Michelin Star Lunches

Michelin Stars are awarded to the world’s best restaurants, ranging from one to three stars, three being the best. It is a huge honor for the restaurant receiving them, and an excellent guide for diners who are looking for food that is a cut above the rest. As you can imagine, most of the restaurants are not cheap, and if you’re like me, you are going to want to try ALL of them. Insert: Restaurant Week! I enjoyed three lunches at three restaurants in Manhattan that were awarded one Michelin Star, and I loved it!

Ai Fiori

This beautiful restaurant serves a mix of Italian and French food of the finest kind. It’s located on 5th Avenue on the second floor of the Langham Place Hotel. It’s lively and upscale, the service impeccable .

My appetizer consisted of a chicken liver mousse with apple mostarda, with a toasted slice of bread, light and creamy. The main course was a strip loin over pommes purée with cipollini onions and bordelaise. The steak was super tender and cooked just perfect, medium rare. The dessert was a beautiful plate of Budino al Limone, a most delicious treat with cinnamon sabayon and olive oil gelato.

What a beautiful lunch I had there! From beginning to end, it was a pleasant experience with (obviously) outstanding food.

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The Clocktower

I’ve been wanting to go this restaurant for the longest time, and I was lucky to finally have lunch there, being that they were just awarded their first Michelin Star! I pass by this place about once a week, it’s located right next to 11 Madison Park, and I always get excited and make plans to visit, which I finally made a reality. This second floor restaurant consists of several separate rooms, the bar room containing a pool table. It’s simply gorgeous.

The first thing you’ll be served is a tiny loaf of bread with a drop of butter, topped off with a sprinkle of salt. It is to die for. I could have had three of them and gone home happy. But here came the appetizer: a Cornish fish stew with rouille, aioli and seaweed butter, which was very good. My main course was a Roasted Atlantic Cod with braised baby leeks and hazelnut over a hollandaise sauce. This dish was beautiful and delish. I closed out my lunch with a creamsicle panna cotta with tangerine and a yogurt sponge cake. This dessert was tasty and out of the box, while beautifully presented. What a stunning place.

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Café Boulud

Monsieur Daniel Boulud collects Michelin Stars like other people collect baseball cards, he’s that good. I have already dined at a few of his other restaurants, so this time I picked Café Boulud right by Central Park. A warm atmosphere, inviting and fresh, hits you as you enter, and it only gets better from there. Crisp white linens on the tables are accompanied by attentive staff. It’s promising to be a quick lunch, because at no point are you waiting for anything.

For this lunch I brought my daughter Sasha, so we got to taste all that good food. Our appetizers were an Arugula Salad with grapefruit, mint, herbed ricotta and a red wine vinaigrette, and a Parsnip Veloute with apple mostarda and creme fraiche. Sasha chose the Beef Bourgogne with bacon, mushrooms and pommes puree, while I had the Scottish Salmon with fennel, sunchoke hash and spinach on a sauce Maltese. Our beautiful desserts were Fromage Blanc with pistachio sable and lemon sorbet, and a Chocolate Tart with hazelnut sable and a blood orange sorbet. Every single bite was exquisite.

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I’m already counting the days until the summer Restaurant Week. It’s just such a great value for all this amazing food. The Winter Restaurant Week has just finished, but by all means, treat yourself to one of these Michelin Star lunches in the summer, you will love it….

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