The 5 New York City Dishes That MICHELIN Inspectors Missed Most

Credit: Oceans

It’s been a while since restaurants have been fully back up and running, and diners are filling them up day and night, eager to get back to their sorely missed favorites. To help guide on the best of the current dining scene, MICHELIN Inspectors — the anonymous professional eaters that give restaurants their MICHELIN ratings — are back on the road around the globe. These are the New York City dishes that Inspectors missed most during the pandemic, gloriously back for dine-in bliss.

EN Japanese Bistro effectively pays homage to highly seasonal Japanese cooking. In such simple and delicate food, flawless execution is a must, so don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation. House-made fresh tofu takes on a milky, nutty flavor, served warm or chilled in a wooden box with a side of dashi broth sauce.

Chef Sal Lamboglia and James Beard Award winning chef-owner Andrew Carmellini clearly knew what they wanted to do in this kitchen: make excellent Italian (and Italian-American) food with a delicious twist here and a surprise ingredient there. Start with meatballs, a far cry from the traditional kind, stuffed with fontina cheese and braised until tender in a chunky tomato sauce. Pasta here rivals Italy’s, especially the rigatoni carbonara with bacon and savoy cabbage.

Park Avenue South may be brimming with restaurants, but this dining room will stop you in your tracks. First with its looks — imagine an inviting bar that anchors the room up front, while the back is crowned by a raw bar and sushi counter — and then with its enticing cooking. Seafood reigns, with local and global sourcing in preparations ranging from ceviche and sushi to towering platters and impressive entrées. Toro tartare with caviar is a particular highlight, as is the Alaskan black cod with a sake glaze, braised bok choy, mushroom, and yuzu dashi. 

Credit: Nick Stokes

Koreans have long flocked to the delightful Samwon Garden, originally founded in Seoul in 1976. This stateside, Midtown outpost serves as the first in the country, standing tall with three floors — each one humming with constant K-Pop beats. Regardless of your perch, know that the quality of cooking and level of service here stands out. Favorite dishes include kimchi-jjigae, a bright red-orange spicy kimchi stew with braised pork belly.

Indian Accent celebrates the sophistication of the sub-continent’s cuisine by offering contemporary specialities and street food from a number of regions in well-balanced, three- to four-course tasting menus. Some of the best items, however, are those that could persuade you to take up vegetarianism full time, including two of the kulchas, or flatbreads — wild mushroom and saag paneer, with truffle butter and chile butter, respectively.

To book these MICHELIN selections and explore all the MICHELIN Guide-rated restaurants, download the MICHELIN Guide iOS app.

Tried them all? Check out other options here.