Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Del Posto failed to win back its second Michelin star after removing a more affordably priced, casual section of the restaurant and instituting a $500 per person wine-paired tasting menu. Oops.

The New York City 2011 Michelin Guide, the results of which were released yesterday, stripped the most expensive spot in the Batali-Bastianich empire of its second star last year. Del Posto also offers $125, $95 and a la carte menus.

The restaurant won a four-star rating from The New York Times last week, leading to sold-out status ever since. The discrepancy may reveal how much influence the Michelin stars have on local restaurant bookings.

“The discrepancy is not a surprise for a lot of people who know about food, obviously,” said Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin Guides, in a telephone interview this morning.
Michael White’s Marea, a major hit with diners and critics, won a second star. Brooklyn Fare, the borough’s priciest restaurant, also added a second star. The Boerum Hill venue charges $135 per person for 20 courses and seats only 18 diners per night.

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