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Paul Liebrandt, an English chef in New York – but who began his career working with Marco Pierre White in London – is today accorded the rare honour of a two-star Michelin guide début. The restaurant, Corton in Tribeca, is the latest venture from veteran NYC restaurateur Drew Nieporent.

One of the first reviews, worldwide, of Corton appeared on this website last November, when we noted that: “Mr Liebrandt would seem to be one Englishman in New York of whom we can be rightly proud. Perhaps indeed, we can look forward to the day when… he will have his name up in lights”. That moment seems to have come rather more quickly than we expected!

Michelin’s judgements are – for better or worse – the only (semi-) objective measure by which international inter-city comparisons can be made. By this yardstick, London has just fallen even further behind New York at the top end, with the award of a third star to Daniel Boulud’s Midtown restaurant, Daniel.

The award brings the Big Apple’s three-star tally to five. (The others are Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se.) London, by the same measure, has just one top-grade restaurant, Gordon Ramsay SW3.

PS The guide also sees an award (one star) for Marlon Abela’s A Voce, near Madison Square. Mr Abela is based in Mayfair, where he owns the Greenhouse and Umu.

PPS (7 October) In New York then tend to follow food criticism and guides somewhat more analytically than is the case in the UK. See, for example, recent commentary on the Village Voice Blog, which is particularly eloquent on its main point about how risible Michelin’s coverage of ethnic restaurants is. Of course, in Paris, that doesn’t matter so much, but in New York or London…

PPPS (8 October) And so the Michelin analysis goes on. Thanks to R&I Magazine for the following: “The 2010 Michelin guide to New York awarded a record 20 new stars including one new three-star; two new two-star; and 17 new one-star restaurants. New York now has a total of 78 Michelin-starred restaurants, compared with 69 in Paris and 49 in London.”

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