Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the greatest example is Chez Panisse. It's been heralded as one of the great American Restaurants for years. It held a Michelin star from (I think) 2006-2009, but lost it in 2010. Despite holding a 4/4 rating from the San Francisco Chronicle (one of only 9 in the Bay Area) and still getting great reviews (as of this writing #117 on Opinionated About Dining's top US restaurants), somehow it can't seem to get a single Michelin Star.
I wonder how Michelin maps to the famed Top 50 restaurants in the world list. How inconsistent are they to that list. I recall that Noma, the formerly #1 restaurant in the world didn't even get a 3 Michelin star rating.
Well, lets take a look. Here's a chart of the Top 50 restaurants in the world from The World's 50 Best Restaurants and the restaurant's Michelin stars. There are many locales that Michelin does not yet review, so those restaurants are simply listed as N/A.
|1||Eleven Madison Park||3|
|3||El Celler De Can Roca||3|
|11||Blue Hill at Stone Barns||1|
|13||Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee||3|
|31||Alleno Paris Au Pavillon Ledoyen||3|
|33||Astrid Y Gaston||N/A|
|36||Dinner by Heston Blumenthal||2|
|41||Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet||2|
|48||Restaurant Tim Raue||2|
|50||Hof Van Cleve||3|
While a large portion of the list is made up of 3 Michelin Star restaurants, I find it interesting that half (of those reviewed) aren't 3 stars (19/38). Even more amazingly, 7 are 1 Michelin starred, and 1 doesn't even have a single star!
Obviously, review criteria can be different for the Top 50 list and Michelin. But it is quite interesting to see this disparity.