The big news out of this morning's Michelin star announcement might be Del Posto's lack of elevation to two-star status, but hidden beneath that snub is an even better story: Holding the two-star spot that Mario Batali no doubt thinks belongs to him is Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, a prix-fixe supper club located in an open kitchen attached to an upscale Downtown Brooklyn bodega that's so off-the-radar that it didn't even make it into Zagat. "I was not expecting to be on the list," chef César Ramirez told Grub Street. "We're not the ordinary Michelin restaurant. But [Jean-Luc Naret, the Michelin guide's Directeur Général] said, 'You’re doing something different.'" (Naret echoed the sentiment to us earlier today, saying that Brooklyn Fare is "one of the top 300 restaurants in the world. We didn’t give two stars because it was Brooklyn — it really deserved to be recognized.")
Besides sharing its address with a grocery store, Brooklyn Fare stands out from the rest of the crowd because the restaurant is — at least for the time being — entirely BYO. That's not likely to last for long, though. Along with other improvements to the space (the combination kitchen-dining room recently expanding its seat count from twelve to eighteen), Ramirez is hoping to have a liquor license in place by the end of October, with a wine list curated by Michele Smith, a former assistant sommelier at Per Se (of which Ramirez is also a vet). Don't start rushing the spot with your prized bottles to beat the end of two-star BYO, though — not only is the competition fierce for a seat at the kitchen table, they might have to redistribute this evening's scheduled guests, as well. "We were supposed to open up tonight, but we'll see what happens," Ramirez says. "We're going to try to have a party."