It's a big month for the release of lists of restaurants at which you likely cannot afford to eat! First, Michelin bestowed their stars upon the city's elite dining experiences and now Zagat has released their annual ranking of the 50 best restaurants in New York City. Unsurprisingly, Le Bernardin tops the list yet again, setting a record seven years in the number one spot. David Bouley's eponymous Tribeca restaurant earns the second place distinction, with Daniel Boulud's namesake Daniel in the number three slot.
There are notable differences between the two lists, which is understandable given who's doing the actual reviewing. Michelin sends anonymous inspectors to dine around the city, while Zagat compiles its rankings through online questionnaires completed by consumers. Both Masa and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare made Michelin's top list but not Zagat's; whereas Zagat consumers adored Peter Luger (#6) and Blue Hill (#8), but Michelin awarded the steakhouse and Dan Barber's farm-to-table pioneer just one star each.
As the Times notes, East Village eatery Graffiti was awarded the #11 spot—its first time in the top 20—having received a 28 (out of 30) for Jehangir Mehta's excellent small plates menu.
Worthy candidates all—especially for a splurge meal—but Michelin also released their Bib Gourmands winners, where two courses and a glass of wine or dessert are $40 or less before tax and gratuity, and Zagat also released its more specific lists around cuisines, dishes and neighborhoods, often at a lower price point. Of course, none of this matters when you can't even get a dinner reservation at a college dorm room.