Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zagat NYC Restaurants 2009

Below is this year's round-up of the New York City GFRAP restaurants as listed in the Zagat guide.

Candle 79 and Asia de Cuba stayed at the top of the list, with new addition S'MAC elbowing itself just ahead of Risotteria with its food rating. Price estimates tended to go up, with Candle 79 and S'MAC and Outback distinguishing themselves with rating increases.

Despite any number of trend and health pieces in the media about gluten-free dining, the Zagat guide still hasn't found much of a way to recognize gluten-free dining as a cuisine or special feature, though it is mentioned in at least three restaurant comments.

The guide notes that "Tipping remained steady at 19%, right on par with the national average." So keep that in mind when you want to make a good impression with the restaurant staff.
Candle 79
Food: 23
Service: 22 (up 1)
Decor: 20 (up 3)
Estimated dinner for one: $46 (up $10)

Asia de Cuba
Food: 23
Service: 20
Decor: 24
Estimated dinner for one: $61 (up $3)

Food: 21 (up 2)
Service: 14
Decor: 10 (up 1)
Estimated dinner for one: $16 (up $3)

Food: 20 (down 1)
Service: 15 (down 1)
Decor: 9 (down 1)
Estimated dinner for one: $24 (up $1)
Comments: "Gluten-sensitive gourmets" gather at this "tiny" Village Italian turning out "creamy risottos" and other fare fit for "those with food restrictions" yet "terrific enough for everyone else"; there's "no decor" and little elbow room, but "squeeze in" and you'll leave "happily satisfied."

Gus' Place (reopened, relocated)
Food: 19 (down 1)
Service: 20
Decor: 14 (down 2)
Estimated dinner for one: $38 (up $1)

Food: 18 (down 1)
Service: 19
Decor: 18
Estimated dinner for one: $53 (up $1)
Comments: "Perfect for a romantic interlude" or a shopping break, this UES Italian (seen in the Sex and the City movie) is set in a "lovely and comfortable" townhouse equipped with two fireplaces; "decent" food, including a "gluten-free" menu, and "pro" service help justify the tabs.

Food: 18
Service: 18
Decor: 16
Estimated dinner for one: $40 (up $2)
Comments: Maybe the "basic, family-style" Italian eats at this "kid-friendly" UWS "alternative to Carmine's" "won't wow you", but the "giant portions" may, so "go with a group" and "share"; waiters are "cheery", and - who woulda thunk? - there's a "gluten-free menu."

Outback Steakhouse
Food: 15 (up 1)
Service: 16 (up 1)
Decor: 12
Estimated dinner for one: $34 (up $2)


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I went last week to the Candle 79, what an amazing place, the food is delicious and the service is even better.

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