Photo of Michelin Man by Laura Hayes
Photo of Michelin Man by Laura Hayes

Today’s the day. Back in May, Michelin announced that D.C. would be the fourth U.S. city to get a Michelin Guide, joining San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. The little red books that make and break restaurants will be available for purchase starting tomorrow. While there’s more to the guide, including the Bib Gourmand, the conversation today will revolve around stars awarded by anonymous inspectors.

One star is considered “very good cooking in this category,” two stars is “excellent cooking,” and three stars amounts to “exceptional cuisine worthy of a special journey.” Michelin, after all, is a tire company that wants you to travel the world on its wheels.

Also important to keep in mind, restaurants receiving stars are evaluated on cuisine alone, so ambiance and service, while important, are not considered. Inspectors look for quality products, consistency, how much a chef is able to express himself or herself through food, and more.

Here are the D.C. restaurants whose chefs went to bed last night as one thing, and woke up today another, as confirmed by Michelin.

Pineapple & Pearls 2 stars

Inn at Little Washington 2 stars

Minibar 2 stars

Rose’s Luxury 1 star

Kinship 1 star

Fiola 1 star

Blue Duck Tavern 1 star

The Dabney 1 star

Masseria 1 star

Tail Up Goat 1 star

Plume 1 star

Sushi Taro 1 star

In a press release, International Director of the Michelin Guide Michael Ellis says: 

Over the last five years the culinary offering has significantly developed in the city, driven by chefs who have travelled, have trained abroad and have enriched their cuisine on their return by incorporating new techniques, new flavours, and new seasoningsThis gastronomic revival is amplified and supported by the “Mid-Atlantic cuisine” led by young chefs who have decided to take advantage of their terroir and work local products, thereby giving Washington a unique culinary identity.

Where to get it:

Pick up a copy of the $12.95 book online or tomorrow afternoon at Upshur Books. Owner Paul Ruppert ordered 140 copies. “Probably our largest book order since we opened two years ago,” he says. Additionally, there will be a celebration of Michelin landing in D.C. at Columbia Room Friday from 5-7 p.m. organized by Shaw Main Streets.

Catch up Michelin coverage:

D.C. Will Become The Fourth U.S. City With Michelin-Starred Restaurants

The Bibs Don’t Fib

Can Data Science Predict Who Will Get Michelin Stars?

Michelin’s Arrival Could Help Solve A Serious Problem

Will D.C. Restaurants Still Sing Kumbaya After Michelin Drops?

These Restaurants Got Michelin Nods, And You Can Afford Them

The Michelin Guide is Overhyped