Rich Crocco

The Meaning Behind a Michelin Rating

Image via http://foodtravel.about.com/od/Restaurant-Reviews/fl/What-Are-the-Michelin-Stars.htm
Image via http://foodtravel.about.com/od/Restaurant-Reviews/fl/What-Are-the-Michelin-Stars.htm

I spent this past weekend in Napa Valley and enjoyed some great food along with the fabulous wine the area has to offer. One restaurant my wife and I dined at was named Auberge du Soleil which sported a one-star Michelin rating. I knew that was a good thing however I didn’t understand any of the details behind the rating. I thought I would explain this rating system a bit here.

The Michelin Guide brand is owned by Michelin, yes the automotive company, and has been published since 1900. It was originally a guidebook for French motorists but slowly expanded during the 20’s and 30’s. In 1936 the ranking system was published which is still in use today:

One Star– “A very good restaurant in its category”

Two Stars – “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”

Three Stars – “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”

Now these descriptions seem a bit common to me, in practice I think it’s a little more like one-star = absolutely amazing, two-stars = off the charts and three stars = not even a normal restaurant, more like a tour of cuisine! Read more…