My Venture Into the World of Michelin

Before the President’s Day weekend had started, I took an advantage of Zagat survey by signing up to its 7-days free trial online. I told myself, “it’s a long weekend and a perfect time to do some tasting menus.” From my previous research, I have been wanting to try Michelin starred restaurants in New York City. After narrowing down my options, I have decided to try Gramercy Tavern, Bouley and Sushi of Gari. Each one of them had received one Michelin Star as the best restaurant in its category and high ratings on Zagat survey.

Zagat survey has an excellent reputation among foodies around the world. It’s very trustable. Comparing its reviews to Yelp’s , personally it’s unbeatable. I already considered that Zagat as the expert in the restaurant world. Without having paid subscribtion (beyond your free trial), you will not be able to view and create Zagat reviews. So, it is pretty exclusive. With Yelp, no membership fee is required; anyone can write anything on the site. But, with Zagat’s requirement, it will definitely minimize any false or misleading reviews. It will also minimize the chance for people to get paid to write a review. So, diners’ experiences are more valuable in Zagat better than in Yelp. Although both of these apps are available on the smart phones and Ipad, overall, Zagat’s innovation concept is still winning. Especially, with its creation of Foodspotting, Zagat clearly focuses on being the leader within the market. As a new user both in Zagat and Foodspotting, I am already amazed of its capability. As soon as I spread the news to my friends, they straight away installed these apps on their gadgets. Often, they would asked, “Is it the same as YELP? Or, is it better?” I would say, “It’s different and you’ll get addicted to it. Trust me.” Also, for some of you who have Foursquare, it will be a good opportunity to earn your “foodie” badge through Zagat-rated restaurants. Not only that, but you can also share your location with your friends so that your friends may also be aware about the restaurant. What a good way to advertise the restaurant, right? As a result, I am confidence about my three options.

Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern is located in the heart of Flatiron district, between Broadway and Park Avenue South. With Mike Anthony as its Executive Chef, Gramercy Tavern has set a high standard for its exceptional dining experience. As you walk into the restaurant, you will get a comfortable ambiance through its decoration and staffs. You will see the bar in the front section of the restaurant and the dining room right across from it. As we get seated to our seats, the atmosphere was quiet. I looked around and everyone seemed to have a good time with their parties. The tasting menu was very tasty, especially the desserts. And of course, the staffs were very friendly and had great attention to details. Our waiter, especially, had never fled the scene. After we received each course, he always asked, “How’s everything? Do you need anything else?” Even the restaurant’s manager had spoke with us, which was pretty impressive. But, the remarkable service did not end there. After we’re done with our meal, the waiter would give us a muffin, wrapped in a beautiful plastic bag that has been prepared for our breakfast the next day. Isn’t that unique? Gramercy Tavern clearly puts its diners into an exclusive dining experience that will make the place memorable. My friends and I are absolutely satisfied. We are coming back to Gramercy Tavern for a second visit. It will not be our last.


First of all, I am not a huge fan of French cuisine. The only place that I would considered was XIV by Michael Mina in LA. But, after reading the reviews on Zagat and Michelin, I thought that I should give it a shot. Bouley is located in Tribeca with its Executive Chef David Bouley. When I walked into the restaurant, my first impression was “this place is so cute!” You will be greeted by this massive shelves of apples at the entrance. Then, you will walk on a short hallway before entering the main dining room. The color scheme on the decoration was pretty inviting. I felt like I was eating inside a French aristocratic home. The lunch tasting menu was delicious. The little macaroons for the desserts were just too cute. I wondered how the dinner menu would be. I am pretty sure it will be more exciting. The service quality was similar as Gramercy Tavern. The waiters were all there to serve you and to make sure that you will have a great dining experience with Bouley. Will I come back again? Absolutely.

Sushi of Gari

Zagat survey has three different reviews on three different Gari restaurants. They are all owned  by the same owner. The one that I went to is located on the 78th street, Upper East Side. The place is pretty small but you will get the “authentic” ambiance of a traditional Japanese restaurant. During my visit, I ordered the Omakase tasting menu. From what I’ve heard through the reviews and word-of-mouth, the Omakase is what Sushi of Gari best known for. It features the chef’s signature sushi and sashimi based on the day’s catch. So, the seafood will be extremely fresh. For dinner, I ordered the sushi Omakase. I got three sets of sushi platters that featured four types of sushi on each platter. At first, I was thinking, how can my appetite be fully satisfied with only 12 sushi? I was wrong. These 12 sushi were tasteful. Each sushi has each own taste, texture, and experience to remember. By the end of the third platter, I was full and very satisfied. For dessert, I ordered the grean tea crepe cake from Lady M. This cake was my secondary factor  to why I wanted to try Sushi of Gari. I’ve been a huge fan of Lady M cakes; definitely, it’s one of the best dessert place in town. Overall, I would recommend Sushi of Gari for anyone who wants to explore the art of sushi dining.

After comparing reviews from both Zagat and Michelin, these restaurants are clearly stand on the standards of these results. None of my experiences have gone below their percentage scores on Zagat. These restaurants are exceptional! The public and the experts have already reached an agreement on how to rate these restaurants. Clearly, they are on the same page. If I can put these reviews on tags, they will definitely become a mixture of trustworthy taxonomies and folksonomies.