I've happily used Michelin Guides when travelling in Europe, and as a New York City resident and something of a foodie (okay, glutton) I looked forward to Michelin's recently published New York City Guide with a great deal of interest. The writeups for the restaurants that I'm familiar with seem accurate for the most part, though one could quibble endlessly about who got stars and who didn't.
The overall results are mixed, however.
Graphically, the book is unquestionably the most attractive and readable of the New York City guidebooks, and the included maps and color photographs only add to the pleasing effect of the presentation. Including recipes from some of the starred properties is an especially nice touch.
The guide is *heavily* Manhattan-centric, however, making only token mentions of restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens and leaving the Bronx and Staten Island off almost entirely; the Bronx's very fine Arthur Avenue restaurant scene is represented by a single restaurant, Roberto's, for instance, and the guide suffers in general from what feels to me like a lack of local knowledge (e.g., some howlers, such as calling the NYC Subway the "Metro," should have been picked up and corrected by a local editor who knows the area... and are there really only *two* restaurants of interest in the entire neighborhood of Harlem? Real New Yorkers know there are more.)
If you're a real foodie visiting New York City, you'll want at least two restaurant books in addition to, or instead of, the Michelin Guide:
- Zagat Survey: 2006 New York City Restaurants for breadth of coverage (hundreds more properties than Michelin deigns to report on)
- The Chowhound's Guide to the New York Tristate Area for much better outer-borough coverage and tips on great, sometimes eccentric and out-of-the-way spots offering great cooking at reasonable prices.