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Michelin to publish New York guide

Michelin will release its first ever restaurant guide outside Europe this year when the Michelin New York guide goes on sale in November.

The 2006 guide rates 500 restaurants in the city’s five boroughs and 50 Manhattan hotels. It is set to go on sale on 15 November, The New York Times reported today.

The red soft-cover book will contain the French tyre company’s first restaurant and hotel ratings outside the Europe. Twenty countries have red guides; green guides for sightseers have covered America since 1968.

Michelin’s anonymous inspectors have been preparing the guide for five months. Restaurants that are candidates for inclusion will be visited at least twice.

‘To make this guide more user friendly, in addition to the symbols the company uses to erase language barriers, there will be more text, with photographs of each hotel and of the “restaurants of distinction,” with the coveted stars,’ the Times reported.

In addition to its traditional one-, two- and three-star ratings, five levels of luxury will be denoted by crossed spoons and forks. A ‘Bib Gourmand’ symbol will signify good value.

The US$15.95 (€12) guide will compete with the popular Zagat, published by Tim and Nina Zagat, perhaps the most influential guide in town, and with newspaper and magazine restaurant reviews, especially The Times’s own powerful star system, which ranges from one to four stars.

Jean-Luc Naret, director of Michelin guides, told the newspaper that if the New York book succeeded, other American cities, perhaps with San Francisco next, might get their own guides.

Written by Howard G. Goldberg in New York

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