BOSTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Zagat Survey today released its
2007/08 Boston Restaurants guide, with results also available online at
ZAGAT.com. Over 6,100 avid diners weighed in on where to grab a bite in
Beantown. And the winners are: Douzo for Top Newcomer (followed closely by
Tresca and dante); L'Espalier for Top Food and Decor; Legal Sea Foods for
Most Popular; and Aujourd'hui for Service. Covering 1,088 of the best
restaurants in Boston and its surroundings as far away as Cape Cod,
Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, the redesigned guide reveals a great deal
about the changing tastes, habits and preferences of Boston area diners.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070412/NYTH002 )
"Though our surveyors voted Italian as their favorite cuisine, Japanese
themed Douzo edged out Italian eatery Tresca as the Top Newcomer, and
French mainstay L'Espalier won for Top Food," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat
Survey. "Diversity continues to keep the dining scene in Boston fresh, and
these top ranking restaurants exemplify that."
Restaurant Guide Renovation: The 2007/08 Boston Restaurants guide
reveals the revamped look that Zagat has launched for 2007 and beyond.
Though the cover still sports its signature burgundy color, new graphics
show off a modern, sleek look. The guide contains several other new
features, including a new list of icons, an introduction packed with
information about trends and newcomers, handy indexes, and color maps
focusing on the Most Popular and Top Rated eateries.
Newcomers: Surveyors were seduced by the "fancy handrolls" at "New Age"
sushi bar Douzo, which edged out the traditional Italian offerings at
Tresca, and the Mediterranean menu at dante to score Top Newcomer honors.
The Top Rated Newcomers are listed in order below in addition to our
editors' picks for other noteworthy newcomers.
23 -- Douzo
22 -- dante
Beacon St. Tavern
Other Key Arrivals
All Star Sandwich Bar flour bakery (Seaport Dist.) Pava
Alta Strada Incontro Petit Robert Bistro
Bin 26 Enoteca La Brace POPS
Bouchee LTK Rustic Kitchen
Copia Masona Grill Sasso
51 Lincoln Oishii Boston (S. End)
The Winners: The "transcendent" New French meals at L'Espalier pushed
it to the top once again, as it edged out "shrine to sushi" Oishii to
reclaim Top Food honors. "Swanky supernova" Clio/Uni rounded out the top
three for Top Food, moving up from eleventh place since the last survey.
The "surefire" Lumi�re, the "small blessing" La Campania, and the "little
treasure" Saporito's, propelled upwards, to claim spots in this year's Top
Ten Food rankings. "Smooth-as-silk" staffers secured Top Service honors for
Aujourd'hui, while the "beloved" Legal Sea Foods was again named Boston's
Most Popular Restaurant, and L'Espalier was first for D�cor.
1. L'Espalier 6. Lumiere
2. Oishii 7. La Campania
3. Clio/Uni 8. Blue Ginger
4. No. 9 Park 9. Saporito's
5. Aujourd'hui 10. Oleana
Best Bets: For your best food bets broken down by cuisine, there are a
countless choices depending upon your cravings. Whether you are dying for
the Chinese "delicacies" at Sichuan Gourmet, or the "arty" Eclectic
"feasts" at EVOO, the new guide can steer you in the right direction, as
reflected by the following list:
Top Restaurants By Cuisine:
American (New) -- Sage Japanese -- Oishii
American (Traditional) -- New Bridge Cafe Mediterranean -- Oleana
Barbecue -- East Coast Grill Mexican -- Tacos Lupita
Cambodian/Vietnamese -- Elephant Walk Middle Eastern -- Helmand
Chinese -- Sichuan Gourmet New England -- Henrietta's
Eclectic -- EVOO Pan-Asian -- Billy Tse
French -- No. 9 Park Pizza -- Galleria Umberto
French (Bistro) -- Coriander Bistro Pub Food -- Matt Murphy's
French (New) -- L'Espalier Seafood (American) -- B&G
Hamburgers -- Mr. Bartley's Seafood (Ethnic) -- Giacomo's
Indian -- Punjab Spanish/Portuguese -- Dali
Italian -- La Campania Steakhouses -- Abe & Louie's
Italian (Northern) -- Saporito's Thai -- Brown Sugar/Similans
Survey Says: Since poor service is surveyors' number one complaint
nationally, it comes as no surprise that 72% singled out shoddy service as
their primary irritant. Noise, food, prices, parking, overcrowding, etc.
cumulatively scored just 28%. And don't keep Bostonians waiting -- 88% say
they'll only stick around to be seated for 15 minutes or less with a
reservation. While 27% of surveyors continue to favor Italian, with its
hearty helpings of pasta and cheese, 74% say that low-carb, low-fat, heart
healthy menu items are important to them and 58% support a ban on trans fat
use in restaurants.
Check Please: The average cost of a meal in Boston increased from
$28.88 to $30.78 since our last survey, i.e., an annual inflation rate of a
little over 3%. Still, Boston dining costs remain well below those of other
cities in the U.S. and around the world, with a national mean of $32.94.
The average meal costs in Tokyo, London and Paris are more than twice as
high compared to Boston's; nearly 30% higher in New York, about 15% higher
in San Francisco and Washington D.C. and nearly 10% more in Chicago. While
67% of surveyors report spending more to dine than they did two years ago,
rising tabs aren't keeping diners at home, and they're not getting any
stingier with tips either. On average, Bostonians dine out 2.7 times a
week, and though they eat out less frequently than their counterparts in
New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, they are more generous when it
comes to tipping, leaving an average of 19.1%, above Zagat's national
average of 18.9%.
New Ventures: This year select restaurateurs strayed from their
signature styles when launching new eateries. For example, Chris
Schlesinger debuted his "light-hearted" All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman
Square, a switch from his East Coast Grill barbecue. The "bistro-like"
Italian wine bar Bin 26 Enoteca bears little resemblance to its Persian
partner, Lala Rokh, and finally, Michael Schlow's Italian offering, Alta
Strada, is a casual departure from the dynamic destinations for which he
has long been known.
Charting New Courses: Several new restaurants are striving to redefine
the traditional meal. Consider the menu at French brasserie Miel, organized
around texture and temperature rather than the usual course sequence.
Similarly, Legal Sea Foods' spin-off, LTK, categorizes its menu items by
verbs (from "simmer" to "surrender"). Finally, Sauciety caters to the
condiment obsessed with a selection of sauces, spreads, dips and chutneys
to customize each course.
The Survey: As with all Zagat guidebooks, the 2007/08 Boston
Restaurants survey is made by consumers for consumers. Besides Top Lists
for Popularity, Food, Decor, Service, and Good Values, the guide includes a
list and map of Key Newcomers, and numerous neighborhood maps. Content from
the survey is also available on ZAGAT.com, which now offers extensive free
content, restaurant photos, menus and member reviews.
The 2007/08 Boston Restaurants guide ($13.95) was edited by Bill
Corsello with Ruth Tobias and coordinated by Maryanne Muller and is
available at bookstores, online at www.ZAGAT.com, on the Palm and Windows
Mobile operating systems, on BlackBerry, on mobile phones and by calling
About Zagat Survey, LLC
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