“Michelin today revealed a list of 19 restaurants in Washington D.C. that received its highly-regarded Bib Gourmand designation”

by Prince Of Petworth October 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm 62 Comments


Excited to see Chercher on this list!!

From a press release:

“Michelin today revealed a list of 19 restaurants in Washington D.C. that received its highly-regarded Bib Gourmand designation–a selection by Michelin of eateries that offer excellent food at a reasonable price.

Bib Gourmand restaurants are chosen by Michelin’s famously anonymous restaurant inspectors who choose quality restaurants that have menu items that offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). Most telling about the value of these selections is the fact that they are the restaurants that the Michelin inspectors themselves frequent when dining off the clock.


Michelin released its list of these more affordable fine-dining Bib Gourmand locations a week prior to the October 13th market debut of the MICHELIN Guide Washington D.C. 2017. On that day, Michelin will announce the star selections in the city.

This year’s initial list of 19 establishments is a confirmation of the city’s eclectic dining choices, with gastronomies that ranges from Afghanistan to America’s South. In all, 15 different cuisines are represented.

As stated, the Bib Gourmands are selected by Michelin’s inspectors who dine in anonymity at restaurants across the city. These inspectors are trained to scrupulously apply the same time-tested methods used by Michelin inspectors for many decades throughout the world. This ensures a uniform, international standard of excellence. As a further guarantee of complete objectivity, Michelin inspectors pay all their bills in full.”

  • Truxton Thomas

    Red Hen and Royal in da house!

    • Bloomy


  • Anon

    Damnit, and I just chose Chercher to replace my Zenebech obsession. Good for them though!

  • HaileUnlikely

    CherCher! Nothing against Zenebech – I live nowhere near here, don’t know the neighborhood well, and just randomly stumbled in there one day several years ago (before they even had the upstairs), and they’ve been my favorite ever since!

  • Thip Khao

    Did they misspell Thip Khao? Or is there some secret Lao restaurant I’ve been missing out on all along?

    • It’s the speakeasy in the basement next to the swimming pool…

    • Belinskaya

      They misspelled China Chilcano, too.

      Proofreading is not their strong suit.

      • TJ

        Michelin is French, so lost in translation…

  • logan

    Jose Andreas cleaning up

  • LedroitTigah

    yay! So many great ones on the list (Doi Moi, Royal, Kyrisan, Red Hen…)

  • Anon

    That’s a lot of Jose Andres on one list. Also a lot of misspellings of restaurant names (at least 3) for a list of only 19 places.

  • jumpingjack

    Agree with many/most of these, but Boqueria? Am I missing something? It’s fine, but I wouldn’t put it anywhere near the top.

    • kwame

      my thoughts exactly! rest of the list is pretty solid however.

    • Yeah I found that to be mediocre at best. Most food critic ratings are subjective though, so I expected to disagree with a few.

  • SMGC

    ahh, the royal, where you pay $12 for an arepa (?!?!?!) and get charged $2 for ice in your bourbon.

    • Glover Park

      That was pretty much my reaction about Oyamel. 1) Since when can you get a reasonable dinner for 2 for under $40? The guac alone is $15, and the menu is all small places. 2) I have had consistently worse service there over the past few years. Blows my mind that this would be on there.
      I do love me some Doi Moi, though :)

      • Tsar of Truxton

        Two course does not specify size, so while two small plates may not be a meal for two people, it fits the criteria.

      • anon

        I don’t think “two courses” means for two people, it means appetizer, entree, and wine/dessert for one person.

      • DCbyDay

        I also don’t think the $40 is for 2 people — I think it is for one person to have 2 courses + wine. which is do-able at these places…

    • Glover Park

      *Plates, not places :)

    • dcd

      Are you sure the $2 isn’t a fine, for contaminating good bourbon with ice? That seems reasonable to me.

  • Evan Tupac Grooter

    Ugh, I have yet to have a good meal at Bidwell

    • AdMoRez

      Agreed, Bidwell was terrible, one of the worst places I have eaten at. Having that on this list makes me think either they were paid off or don’t have any good taste.

      • ET

        Or new when the reviewer was coming.

      • Mary Brennan

        Bidwell has not changed it’s menu in years. How is this possible?

        • alpinepaq

          Bidwell has only been open for 1.5 years, btw.

    • margaret

      I once ordered a mint julep at Bidwell. I got served a glass of bourbon with a little bit of mint simple syrup garnished with a lime.

  • scooter

    any star predictions? gotta figure komi, minibar, sushi taro, and maybe pineapple and pearls will each walk away with multiple.

    • Anon

      P & P for sure, no maybes about it. (Not that it holds any meaning to me whatsoever, but I’m whiling away at work right now, so why not do some casual speculatin’.)

      • P&P definitely should, but I don’t know if it’s too new to qualify.

    • BlueStreak

      I figure minibar is going to be a 3 star, especially given how much they seem to like Jose Andres. I have been lucky enough to dine at 3 Michelin 3 star restaurants and I do not believe Komi or Sushi Taro to be on that level. I haven’t been to pineapple and pearls yet, however.
      I can’t really explain it well, but it takes more than amazing food. This is a French Publication and they tend to reward the restaurants that are in the French style in terms of service and atmosphere and general snootiness (for lack of a better word). So I am probably more interested to see who will get the one and 2 stars.
      I am also really interested to see what they do with Rasika. It is unique, at the top of it’s game for DC and even the country, but doesn’t have the above Vibe. I am really curious where the Michelin guide will put them.

    • (from my original predictions)
      “New spots like P&P, Kinship, and Masseria will likely not have enough established cred to make the cut. I would bet on Komi, minibar, Marcel’s, Rasika, and Little Serow, and Rose’s Luxury for sure getting stars, and Obelisk, Blue Duck Tavern, Equinox, Bombay Club, Fiola, Fiola Mare, and The Source, and Makoto maybe.”

      • dcd

        I’m not sure how it’s played out in other US cities, but the European guides have a real bias towards fine dining. If that’s the case here (and I hope it’s not) places like Little Serow will have a really hard time getting the recognition they deserve.

        • I’ve definitely been to Michelin places in NYC, SF, and Chicago that all shun fine dining for trendy food and / or vibe. Public in NYC and Lazy Bear in SF immediately come to mind.

          • BlueStreak

            I was referring to 3 star places. There are definitely less traditional places with lower stars.

      • dcd

        Also, I might add Mintwood Place to this list. Not 3 stars, but one is reasonable.

        • timmyp

          Pretty disappointed with Mintwood after finally making it there. Service was good and casual enough to enjoy but the food was eh compared to a lot of others. Happy for Thip Kao. I think it’s underrated in general.

  • Grant Circle

    They won’t be able to overlook Manny and Olga’s next year!

    • youmademyday

      HAHA thanks I needed that!

  • Tsar of Truxton

    I’ve been to most of these spots and they were good for the most part. I was not a huge fan of Ottoman Taverna, but the space is gorgeous. Surprised to see Jaleo but not Estadio. I would take that latter over the former any day. I can’t imagine Estadio getting a star, so it seems weird.

    • Anon

      lol, perhaps the editors didn’t just want to hand this to every Jose Andres restaurant out of sheer principle? But I agree with you completely

      • Not sure if you’re implying it, but Estadio is not a Jose Andres restaurant.

        • Anon

          heh, I’ve been under that impression for ever (I guess to his credit). Now that I think about it, it’d be very silly for him to open up two similar concepts with two different names. Oops!

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Estadio is the same group as Doi Moi and Proof.

    • Agreed.

    • oh2dc

      Agree that Ottoman Taverna is a surprise choice here. Pretty to look at inside, but the service and food were pretty lacking.

  • Nonny

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Metier get ***

  • Ashy Oldlady

    China Chicano [sic]??? Have I just been really unlucky every time I’ve been there? Because I thought the food was bland and uninteresting (maybe that just makes it authentic?), and the atmosphere was not particularly cozy.

  • N

    LOL @ all the small plate restaurants. A “course” at one of these restaurants would barely be filling since the criteria is “two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included)”. That explains why Jose Andres did so well here.

    • wdc

      If you were to eat in a Michelin starred restaurant in France, you would find pretty much all small plates. That’s the style. You’re never going to get a pound of pasta or a 12 ounce steak or even a whole chicken joint. You’re going to get two teeny dumplings in an exquisite sauce with kumquat daikon relish. Followed by the leg of a quail in starfruit aspic. Then four tablespoons of a cream soup with $20 worth of meticulously diced truffles on it.
      Michelin isn’t looking for quantity, they’re looking for quality and presentation.

      • N

        I think you are referring to the typical Michelin ratings. This is for the Bib Gourmand designation which is for “excellent food at a reasonable price.” Do you think $15 for guac is reasonable?

  • Alison

    Very surprised Little Serow is not on the list. Maybe this is a clue that it will be getting a star?

    • BlueStreak

      You can’t get two courses at Little Serow and you can’t eat there for less than $40

    • Tsar of Truxton

      It is too expensive to make the list. The cap is $40 for two courses and a glass of wine or a dessert.

  • TX2DC

    I ate at Oyamel last night for the first time in years. Oldie but goodie.

  • Lion of LeDroit

    Three roars for The Royal, an altogether wonderful addition to LeDroit Park, which one might add is batting 1,000 with respect to Michelin “Bib Gourmand” nods at the moment. I suppose it helps to have only one real restaurant in the neighborhood, but better one dapper custom Savile row suit than closets full of ill-fitting off-the-rack clearance items (here’s looking at you, Adams Morgan hehe). Roarrrrr!!!!

    • Anon

      I like the Royal, but it’s more of a mid-tier Brooks Bros than anything approaching Saville Row. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

      • Lion of LeDroit

        To each their own, but I find a number of the dishes at The Royal, casual though the presentation and ambiance may be, to rival those of far more well-known and expensive establishments across the city, not to mention the “casual bar food” establishments that are the principal competitors in the niche that the Royal aims to fill. Some other casual joints that delight w well above-average quality of ingredients and well-conceived/unique flavors are Shouk, Sally’s Middle Name, and Chaia.

  • MoldieOldie

    stars will be obvious.

    komi, rose’s luxury, (and hopefully) sushi taro. rose’s doesn’t deserve it nor does it’s nascent pineapples and pearls.

  • TJ, I so agree with you. That’s why I have decided to add Andrene’s Cafe, An Authentic Jamaican Eatery.

  • Mark

    I would have liked to have seen Dino’s Grotto on this list. Pretty sure you could get out of there with an antipasti, half portion of boar pasta, and a drink for under $40. Truly one of my favorite spots in the whole DC area. Just quality, unpretentious seasonal Italian cooking with local ingredients (at reasonable prices) in a comfortable, homey setting.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    I ate at Zaytinya a couple months ago and they were way off their game. Much of the food was meh and the restaurant itself is looking really tired. I had always respected Michelin’s ratings but seeing some of the restaurants that are on this list has undermined their credibility in my eyes.


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