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One surprise in the announcement of the 2019 Michelin Guide to New York City is that there are now three one-star Mexican restaurants in the five boroughs.
Casa Enrique, which has held a Michelin star since 2015, is now joined by Claro and Oxomoco. Claro is driven by Oaxacan flavors and makes their own moles, while Oxomoco uses Mexican ingredients to inspire their wood fired grill.
There’s also a surprise within that surprise: none of those restaurants are in Manhattan. Casa Enrique is in Long Island City, Queens, while Claro and Oxomoco are in Brooklyn (Gowanus and Greenpoint, respectively).
There are several Mexican restaurants in Manhattan that seem like obvious one-stars, such as Empellon and Cosme, however, they don’t seem to register with Michelin. Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the guide, told Eater that Cosme was lacking in consistency, which I can’t say I agree with.
Still, these stars are a positive development in the timeline of Mexican food in New York, which has been getting progressively better year after year, both at the high and low ends. Additionally, there are nine Bib Gourmand selections that are Mexican in the New York City Michelin guide: Alta Calidad, Atla, El Molcajete, Gran Eléctrica, La Morada, Mexicosina, Oso, Vida, and Xixa.
Within the United States as a whole, there are two other Michelin starred Mexican restaurants: Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo in Chicago with one star, and, the highest ranked Michelin starred restaurant in the United States, Val Cantu’s two star Californios, in San Francisco.
Header image of Claro, in Gowanus, Brooklyn, courtesy of Claro.