Brooklyn, NY

3 Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Brooklyn Do Things a Little Differently

Abdulla M

When you hear that a restaurant received a Michelin star, do you think, "Oh, that place must be expensive?" It's a reasonable assumption. The designation seems to go hand in hand with a pricey menu, one that is usually fixed, as well. That is, prix fixe.

In 2021, a handful of restaurants in Brooklyn were awarded Michelin stars. Weirdly, about half of them are clustered under the Williamsburg Bridge, as if Peter Luger's longstanding recognition has somehow seeped into the groundswell over there.

Maybe you don't care about Michelin stars at all. Isn't the fun of dining in New York City largely built around word of mouth discoveries? Once a restaurant has secured a spot on a list, especially one as prestigious as the Michel star annual roundup, you might be rolling your eyes, imagining the influx of tasteless tourists filling up a space you once considered special.

If that's the case, you might want to consider why you're still reading about Michelin-starred restaurants. Perhaps there is something appealing about them, after all. Could it be that the selected "stars" share certain admirable qualities? Like inventive dishes you can't find anywhere else?

Sometimes restaurants awarded Michelin stars come off as stuffy. The white tablecloths and the ten-item cutlery feel a little ridiculous when all you want to do is stuff your face. But not every restaurant with a Michelin star is expensive. At least, not compared to other NYC restaurants.

For example, there's a place called Meadowsweet in Williamsburg. This year, they were awarded a Michelin star, and for Thanksgiving 2021, they are serving a prix fixe menu for $95. Yes, it's not cheap, but it's exactly the same price as almost every other Brooklyn restaurant offering a Thanksgiving menu this year.

But if you're interested in eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Brooklyn, and you want something more affordable, consider Oxomoco in Greenpoint. The most expensive item on their menu are the lamb barbacoa tacos at $18. You can also get a frozen mango mezcalero for $16. These prices are no greater than most Mexican restaurants in the city.

Ever visited a Michelin-starred restaurant offering a take out menu that includes turkey legs and churros? That's the kind of thing you'll find at Claro in Gowanus. Sure, the churros aren't as cheap as the ones you can buy from a street vendor, but you can't fault them for a stuffy menu.

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