Three Star Restaurants

Three Star Restaurants

Photo of The New York Times

From 2004 onward, Frank Bruni, Sam Sifton and Pete Wells, the restaurant critics for The New York Times, have awarded more than 30 New York restaurants three stars each, for excellent.

37 Places
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    These dishes validate the kind of experimentation that culinary pioneers like Mr. Dufresne undertake, and they reflect a thoughtful, mature equilibrium between what’s merely edgy and what’s truly enjoyable.
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    Veritas, now without tablecloths or pretense, has become a sophisticated, enjoyable restaurant. It is the sort of place where people make their reservations as they’re making their way out of the dining room after their meals. See you next week!
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    Here, the creative liberties taken with sushi are a world away. The chefs do not play around with seasoning, adding jalapeño here and mayonnaise there. Monstrous portions of fish do not overlap the rice like flopping fillets. Classic proportions endure.
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    It’s not exactly a rustic trattoria with exalted peasant food: Mr. Conant’s methods are more refined than that. He presents osso buco without the bone, as a sort of veal roll-up splashed with marrow.
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    Start with the Roquefort parfait. Decadently creamy and rich, it is skirted with sliced endive and pear and placed over a Sauternes jelly: a commingling of tangy, bitter and sweet notes; a communion of wine and cheese at the start of the meal.
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    At his new restaurant, Jean-Georges Vongerichten circles back, shuts up and cooks, electing earnestness over irony, controlled flourishes over cluttered frippery. In doing so he gives fresh currency to his stature as one of the most talented chefs.
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    The colors, and much of the NoMad’s flavor, result from the creative deployment of vegetables practiced by Mr. Humm and Abram Bissell. But if you have heard anything at all about the NoMad, you know that its signature dish is a roast chicken for two.
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    Many diners think only of Japanese when they think of Nobu. But that paste, that ceviche and the recurrence of cilantro and jalapeño (as in another Nobu classic, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño) were reminders that Mr. Matsuhisa is a fusion artist.
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    At Ssam, you can drop in for just 30 minutes, have a snack of one or two small dishes, pay just $20 for them. And yet the quality of the food, its fastidious sourcing, vibrant seasoning and ingenious grace notes, isn’t dumbed down in the least.
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    Although dinner at Ko is a two-hour, eight-course, full-throttle commitment, it’s also an experiment in subtraction, in calculating which niceties can go without the enjoyment ebbing as well.
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    A cote de boeuf like Minetta’s is a sublime hunk of glorious meat that you dream about hours later, pine for the next day and extol in a manner so rapturous and nonstop that friends begin to worry less about your cholesterol than about your sanity.
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    Take one bite of expertly diced, top-grade fatty bluefin tuna tartare cloaked in an equal measure of osetra caviar and discover a central truth: Masa, owned and operated by the chef Masayoshi Takayama, is one of New York’s peak culinary indulgences.
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