Michelin DC Announces 2022 Starred Restaurants and Bib Gourmand Awards
Albi in Navy Yard obtains a Michelin star. Photograph by Rey Lopez
Michelin has released its highly anticipated 2022 stars for DC restaurants. Four venues have been added to the exclusive list — and three *big names have been removed — bringing the total number of Michelin-starred DC dining venues to 24.
All new additions are star earners. Anonymous Michelin inspectors praised Albi, chef Michael Rafidi’s wood-fired Levantine restaurant at Navy Yard; Enrique Limardo’s chef’s table at Imperfecto, which they deemed “a far cry from the more casual main menu” of the West End Latin-Mediterranean restaurant; the plant-centric Oyster darling Oyster at Shaw, which serves a hyper-seasonal prix fixe; and Johnny Spero’s contemporary tasting room in Georgetown, Reverie.
Although all are newcomers to the culinary scene, Albi and Reverie previously featured in the 2021 guide as unrated plate recommendations – the least prestigious category given to restaurants that have not earned stars or awards. Affordable Bib Gourmand prices.
This year, the most competitive two-star and three-star levels remain unchanged. The Little Washington Inn in Rappahannock County is the only three-star recipient in the area (and the only Michelin exception outside the district). In the two-star category, the modernist tasting counter Logan Circle Jônt is joined by the brand new Minibar by José Andrés in Penn Quarter. Also retaining its two stars: Pineapple and Pearls on Capitol Hill, which has been closed since March 2020 but is currently taking reservations for its May relaunch. Sister restaurants Rose’s Luxury and Little Pearl are rated with one star.
“Given our strong history with the restaurant and communication with the chef, we have kept it in the guide with its current distinction,” says Michelin’s anonymous chief inspector for North America. “It’s a way to show support, and our inspectors will investigate as soon as possible.”
In 2021, with the restaurant industry still hampered by the pandemic, Michelin did not remove any stars, even though several dining rooms remained closed or in motion. This year, Michelin has retired Komi, the mainstay of Dupont’s fine dining. Chef Johnny Monis’ Greek tasting room has operated as a casual, take-out-only Happy Gyro throughout the pandemic, but it’s worth noting that Monis and his wife/co-owner Anne Marler never officially announced the permanent stop of Komi. (“Our understanding is that Komi has closed,” says the Michelin inspector). Also absent from the list of stars: Plume, the luxurious European dining room at the Jefferson Hotel which is replaced by another concept. The only restaurant to lose a star is the beloved 35-year-old Japanese restaurant and omakase hall Sushi Taro, run by Nobu Yamazaki and Masaya Kitayama.
While many food critics have halted their reviews during the pandemic, Michelin has remained steadfast in publishing guides and steadfast on its review criteria and methods.
“We always talk about the same methodology, so that a star in New York is equivalent to a star in Chicago”, explains Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides. “For us, it was the best way to support the sector, by keeping the link between the gourmet and the restaurateurs. Interest in good food has never been higher.
Reviews are still based on in-person dining (no takeout), but have never officially considered service – perhaps a boon to Michelin’s procedures in the pandemic with its many disruptions and shortages of food. workforce.
“We are looking for quality product, mastery of technique, harmony of flavors, value for money, and regularity between visits. Basically, it has not changed, ”says the anonymous American inspector from Michelin. “The chef’s offer has evolved and new trends have appeared. Maybe the menus are more concise, some restaurants have time constraints, but what we are looking for remains the same.
In addition to the new stars, Michelin announced two new “special awards” and winners. Sommelier of the Year goes to Nicole Ramée and Alisa Watts of one-star Spanish spot Xiquet. In the meantime, the Prize for Exceptional Cocktails is awarded to Will Patton, beverage director at Bresca and Jônt.
There’s usually more fluctuation in the Bib Gourmand price list, attributed to a longer and more eclectic list of restaurants that offer “good food at a moderate price.” This year, Michelin has started announcing new inclusions on a rolling basis, and last week they named four newcomers to the list: Indian H Street Corridor hotspot Daru; New Orleans-inspired Dauphine in downtown DC; and Petworth ramen joins Menya Hosaki and neighboring fried chicken Honeymoon Chicken. But several restaurants lost the designation this year, including Navy Yard Chloe Dining Room, Brookland Primrose Wine Bar, José Andrés’ Zaytinya, Shaw Ethiopian Place Chercher and Southern/Korean Succotash. Others, such as Hazel, Napoli Pasta Bar and American Son, were removed from the list due to closure. None of the retired bibs from the previous year, including Millie’s in Spring Valley, Ambar in Capitol Hill and the Royal in LeDroit Park, have been reinstated to the list.
The District’s Michelin guide was launched in 2016 with 12 star ratings and has since doubled in size. Poullennec says the 2022 guide is a mark of culinary progress and resilience, both in DC and around the world.
“We haven’t changed their criteria, the restaurants have changed their games,” explains Poullennec. “You really feel how strong the culinary scene is getting, and despite the crisis, the trend continues.”
Here’s the full list of DC star ratings:
The Little Washington Inn
Two stars :
Pineapple and Pearls
Imperfecto: the Chef’s Table (NEW)
Oyster Oyster (NEW)
Rooster and Owl
The luxury of Rose
goat with tail
And here are the Bib Gourmands 2022:
Honeymoon Chicken (NEW)
Ivy City Smokehouse
Indian Modern Karma
Laos in town
Menya Hosaki (NEW)
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
The red hen
Wood Pizza Co.
*Correction: Three restaurants were omitted from the list. Sushi Taro was not mentioned in the original article.