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Esquire Magazine Best New Restaurants-2006?

cuffthis

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Please help me understand the logic behind their picks. As the attached schedule indicates, my restaurant's food and combined Zagat scores were higher than all but 2 of the winners. What gives? Is my home state of Delaware not worthy? And if a dinner only costs $37 at Domaine Hudson vs. much more at other places, doesn't that matter?

NAME\t\tFOOD\t\tDÉCOR\t\tSERVICE\t\tPRICE

Domaine Hudson\t\t25\t\t25\t\t24\t\t$37
1314 N. Washington St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(bet.13th & 14th Sts.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Wilmington, DE\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
302-655-9463\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Acadiana\t\t23\t\t21\t\t22\t\t$49
901 New York Ave. NW\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(9th St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Washington, DC\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
202-408-8848\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Ame\t\t25\t\t25\t\t24\t\t$67
689 Mission St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Third St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
San Francisco, CA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
415-284-4040\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Cut\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tVE
9500 Wilshire Blvd.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(El Camino Dr.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Beverly Hills, CA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
310-275-5200\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

A Voce\t\t24\t\t22\t\t21\t\t$61
41 Madison Ave.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(26th St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Manhattan, NY\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
212-545-8555\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Stephan Pyles\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tE
1807 Ross Ave.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(N. St. Paul St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Dallas, TX\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
214-580-7000\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Bong Su Restaurant and Lounge\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tE
311 Third St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Folsom St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
San Francisco, CA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
415-536-5800\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Cordavi\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a
14 North Market St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Charleston, SC\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
843-577-0090\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Country\t\t23\t\t26\t\t21\t\tVE
90 Madison Ave., 2nd fl.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(29th St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Manhattan, NY\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
212-889-7100\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Dona\t\t24\t\t26\t\t24\t\t$67
208 E. 52nd St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Manhattan, NY\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
212-308-0830\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Ecco\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tM
40 Seventh St. NE\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Cypress St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Atlanta, GA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
404-347-9555\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

The Georgian Room\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a
The Cloister\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
100 Cloister Drive\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Sea Island, Ga\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
912-638-3611\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Guy Savoy, Restaurant\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tVE
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Flamingo Rd.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Las Vegas, NV\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
877-346-4642\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Joël Robuchon\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tVE
3799 Las Vegas Blvd S.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Tropicana Ave.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Las Vegas, NV\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
702-891-7925\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Junnoon\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tE
150 University Ave.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(High St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Palo Alto, CA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
650-329-9644\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

OM Restaurant & Lounge\t\t18\t\t25\t\t15\t\t$58
92 Winthrop St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Paris St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Cambridge, MA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
617-576-2800\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Proof On Main\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a
702 West Main Street\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Louisville, KY\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
502-217-6360\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Rasika\t\t26\t\t26\t\t23\t\t$46
633 D St. NW\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(bet. 6th & 7th Sts.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Washington, DC\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
202-637-1222\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Redd Restaurant\t\t27\t\t21\t\t25\t\t$65
6480 Washington St.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(California Dr.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Yountville, CA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
707-944-2222\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Repast\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tM
620 Glen Iris Dr. NE\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(North Ave.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Atlanta, GA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
404-870-8707\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Sorellina\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tn/a\t\tVE
1 Huntington Ave.\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
(Dartmouth St.)\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Boston, MA\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
617-412-4600\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
 

Kent Wang

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Esquire Magazine ranks mean even less.
 

cuffthis

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Zagat scores ARE from discerning diners. Surveys are provided only to those who subscribe to zagat.com or sign up via purchasing products from them. For the most part, IMHO, people who are interested enough to pay the subscription fee are pretty discerning diners.

Originally Posted by cchen
IMO, Zagat scores don't mean much to discerning diners.
 

chorse123

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"For the life of me" I can "hardly stand" the "silly" "worthless" "sound bites" that make up Zagat "reviews." I see "Zagat" as "little more than a mini phone book." No "offence" intended to "cuffthis," "whose establishment I would visit were it possible."
 

Kent Wang

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To be more serious, I understand cuffthis's consternation. Whether Zagat and Esquire's ratings accurately reflect quality, they do bring in a lot of business. Few restaurants can remain profitable with "discerning diners" alone.
 

Mute

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Zagat may not always be correct, but I usually find their rating system to be fairly accurate and certainly much more reliable than any single critic's opinion for any given establishment.
 

bondurant

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Originally Posted by cuffthis
Please help me understand the logic behind their picks. As the attached schedule indicates, my restaurant's food and combined Zagat scores were higher than all but 2 of the winners. What gives? Is my home state of Delaware not worthy? And if a dinner only costs $37 at Domaine Hudson vs. much more at other places, doesn't that matter?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that having a famous chef (preferably one with at least two Michelin stars) as a consultant or a well connected NY PR firm in your employ would help things tremendously.

I also agree that Zagat ratings mean next to nothing. The vast majority of people I know who subscribe to Zagat (either on the web or in hard copy) are in no way discerning about their food. They do, however, as a rule enjoy chalking up experiences at fine dining establishments so they can discuss them in the office and also fancy their opinions much more important than they actually are.
 

darkoak

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Originally Posted by chorse123
"For the life of me" I can "hardly stand" the "silly" "worthless" "sound bites" that make up Zagat "reviews." I see "Zagat" as "little more than a mini phone book." No "offence" intended to "cuffthis," "whose establishment I would visit were it possible."
 

Earthmover

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I think it's simply connections + geography. Someone at Esquire has to know about it and try it out (and obviously be influential in the editorializing to make you be on the list), and being in Delaware is not really conducive to that. In any case, I'm a firm believer in Zagat over any one critical source (they've never been grossly off for any of the NY restaurants I've tried), so I think it's not something to worry about. It's too bad that you can only be on a new restaurant list once, and Esquire never had the chance to hear about Domaine Hudson.
 

JRinDC

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All I know is Mariani can't possibly eat in all the place he needs to in order to credibly put out a list like this. Acadiana and Rasika would not make anyone's top 10 list in Washington, DC, let alone the country. Rasika is good, but it's second tier and Acadiana isn't even in the same league.

The only 4 star restaurants in the DC area are:

Inn at Little Washington
Maestro
Cityzen
Citronelle

That's it folks. After that, there's the very good:

Palena
Restaurant Eve (tasting room)
MiniBar
Equinox
Obelisk
Tabard Inn
1789

That's 10. Rasika's in the next 10, maybe.
 

auto90403

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Come on, folks, you're overbraining this.

Lists produced by magazines of the "best" anything are very often just staffers kicking around what they're familiar with, with enough variation since the last time they produced such a list so they have a headline that attracts readers.

When US News' college ranking come out every year with a reshuffled top 10, do you really think any of the schools did anything in the previous 12 months that would affect their ranking in a meaningful way?

And yes, having a hot PR firm on the payroll probably has more to do with making Esquire's list than having a hot chef in the kitchen.
 

globetrotter

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how the fuck did you guys get around to reading that article? i didn't get past the pictures of scarlett Johansen
 

whoopee

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My experience is that Zagat scores cannot be compared across regions. A Philly 28 is not equal to a NYC 28, let alone Paris. For all the criticism Zagat guides take, within a region, they are fairly accurate in reflecting local tastes, and are excellent sources of contact information, espeically with those indices.

Esquire's list doesn't mean much to anyone I know.
 

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