Modern Living: The Simple Lion

For gourmets, the news was unsettling. This year, for the first time in history, the Guide Michelin gave its top rating for culinary excellence, three stars, to four additional restaurants. Only twelve establishments in all of France carried three stars last year and the long-term trend has been downward: in 1940 1,200 establishments enjoyed one or more stars v. only 610 today. Has the bible of haute cuisine lost its bite? Not at all, says one of the editors: "We wanted formally to recognize and concretize the new wave in French gastronomy."

That gesture...

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