Michelin accidentally gave a star to a casual roadside bistro in France

The casual Le Bouche à Oreille (credit: Google Maps)

You may not be able to find linen tablecloths or truffles at Le Bouche à Oreille in Bourges, France. But for a short moment in early February, it was included on the official map of restaurants that had won a prestigious Michelin star.

Sadly, the award wasn’t really supposed to go to the casual brasserie, where a three-course lunch costs $13.25; the star was intended for another, much fancier restaurant named Le Bouche à Oreille in Boutervilliers, southwest of Paris. Not only do the restaurants have the same name, but the café is located on a street named route de la Chapelle, while the Boutervilliers restaurant is on the rue de la Chapelle.

“Of course we don’t like to make mistakes,” a spokeswoman for Michelin told the Times. “To err is human. The most important thing for us is that neither restaurant was negatively affected.”

Le Bouche à Oreille, fancy version (credit: Le Bouche à Oreille)

Far from having a negative impact, the confusion seems to have been good for the owner of the more casual Le Bouche à Oreille, Véronique Jacquet. She’s been inundated with calls from reporters and told the Times “It’s been spectacular advertising.”

Aymeric Dreux, the co-owner of the grander Le Bouche à Oreille, doesn’t seem to be too negatively impacted either; he told the Times he laughed at the mix up and invited Jacquet and her chef to dine at the restaurant. [NYT]