New Yorkers eating out more, Zagat survey finds
Michelin handed out a record number of its coveted stars to restaurants in New York City, where reviewers said diverse cuisine, excellent food and service cemented the city's reputation as a premier culinary destination.
In the ninth edition of its New York restaurant guide, Michelin awarded 67 restaurants stars, one more than the previous edition.
"It shows New York continues to be one of the most exciting and dynamic destinations in the world," Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guides, said on Tuesday, a day before the launch of its latest guide.
Michelin, founded in France, rates restaurants in 23 countries. Its stars have become an internationally recognized sign of quality dining.
Big Apple diners have a wide array of food to sample. Michelin critics or inspectors tried 61 different cuisines for the latest guide, ranging from popular American and European dishes to more exotic food from Senegal, Ellis said.
Michelin gave out three stars, its highest honor for its "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey" to the same seven restaurants as last year: Daniel; Eleven Madison Park; Jean-Georges; Le Bernardin; Masa and Per Se, as well as Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, which is located outside Manhattan.
The city's roster of two-star restaurants, which Michelin praises for their "excellent cuisine, worth a detour," shrank to five from seven in its 2014 edition.
Michelin removed three restaurants from its two-star ranking including The London, owned by British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Jungsik, which is named after its head chef, Jungsik Yim, and has a sister restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, joined Atera, Marea, Momofuku Ko and Soto in the two-star category.
Jungsik, Ellis said, is the first Korean restaurant in the world to earn two Michelin stars.
Michelin awarded 55 restaurants one star, up from 52 in the prior year. One of the notable additions was the Musket Room, which specializes in contemporary New Zealand cuisine, Ellis said.
He compared New York's dining scene with London's.
"All the major nationalities of the world are represented in New York. Certainly London shares that with New York," he said.
In Michelin's 2014 guide for London, it handed out three stars to four restaurants, two stars to 21 and one star to 142.
New Yorkers eating out more
New Yorkers are eating out more often than a year ago, reversing a trend as confidence in the economy grows, according to the Zagat 2014 restaurant survey released on Tuesday.
Restaurant patrons, led by younger casual diners, ate out or bought 58 percent of their lunches or dinners, up from 49 percent a year ago, the survey showed.
New Yorkers remain far more likely to dine out or order in than the average American, who opts for restaurant food just 47 percent of the time, it said.
"People are feeling better and going out more and cooking less," said Tim Zagat, co-founder of the 35-year-old annual survey. "It was a decline that started and ended with the recession" that struck in 2008, he said.
"It's pure and simple - the economy is much better and people have more money in their pockets. And even businesses have become more relaxed about paying for employees' meals if they want them to work late," he added.
The average dinner in New York City, including entree, drink and tip, cost $48.56 - about 20 percent more than the national average, the survey of 48,114 regular restaurant patrons showed.
"Younger people are eating out more, but at less expensive, ethnic, more informal places," Zagat said. "Decor and service is not really their thing."
The highest-rated New York new restaurant was a barbecue joint, Mighty Quinn's, cited for its Texas- and Carolina-inspired menu. The survey said it offers "phenomenal prices," and young diners don't mind the "mob-scene" atmosphere.
Eric Ripert's French seafood palace Le Bernardin led food rankings for a fifth consecutive year, edging out Bouley.
Asian fusion restaurant Asiate was cited for best decor, while Per Se took the honors for best service, both repeating top rankings of a year ago.
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