2006_01_food_platt101.jpgWhat is it about stars that gets people so worked up? New Yorkers went ballistic over the stars doled out by the Michelin Guide (the Spotted Pig?!?), and the addition of one extra star from the New York Times can make all the difference when you're trying to get a reservation. And now, New York Mag has jumped on the star bandwagon, with Adam Platt dishing out stars to his 101 favorite restaurants in the city. He describes the new rating system in detail:

Five stars is an ethereal, rarely used designation, the equivalent of foodie heaven. Four stars means that we consider the restaurant and its chef to be among the city’s very best. Three stars means the restaurant is excellent, though not elite. A two-star rating is very good—though not necessarily so good for the many establishments in town that aspire to be a foodie heaven. Classically, one-star restaurants tend to be simple, more neighborly, and often more satisfying than their multi-star brethren, and that will often be the case here, although one star for a restaurant with elite aspirations is really not much better than no star at all. No stars on a review doesn’t necessarily mean a restaurant is bad; it means our critics don’t recommend you go out of your way to eat there.

Only Le Bernadin and Masa earned the "foodie heaven" designation, and seven others, including Babbo and Per Se, were crowned with four (after eating Mario's goose liver ravioli last night for the first time, we're inclined to agree with all four stars). More fun are his other lists: 5 Best Bang for the Buck, including Tia Pol and Bellavitae, 5 Best Brooklyn (the butter-poached lobster at Applewood is heavenly), and the 2005 Overrated List: "Highly Touted Slow-Food Suppliers: Does anyone really know where Kloonshee Farms is? Does anyone really care?"

Any of your favorites left off the list?