The new Zagat guide is out, everyone, and the food rankings once again are a head-scratcher. First off, as the Scoop notes, Gary Danko tops the food category for the ninth year running, with the French Laundry coming in a close second with the same food score of 29. But here's where it gets weird: Manresa, which the Zagat poll-takers only barely just discovered (it opened ten years ago), hit number four on the food list last year, and inexplicably dropped to 38th place this year. Also, Coi is nowhere to be seen, Meadowood dropped out of the top 50 entirely after breaking into the top ten last year for the first time, and having three Michelin stars? And what's this with tiny Seven Hills hitting the list at number four, beating out Chez Panisse, Boulevard, and the aforementioned Michelin two-star big shots? We'd say this was a victory for dining democracy if it all weren't so inexplicable, and, well, wrong.
Not to knock Seven Hills (it's quite solid), but we're curious every year how Zagat's poll-taking public in the Bay Area is so much less hip and attuned to fine dining than they are in New York. Is the group just so much smaller? Less well edited? Where the hell are Benu, Saison, Coi, and Quince? (Quince dropped off the top 50 entirely this year, curiously, just like Meadowood.)
Anyhow, the printed guide never had a ton of traction here in the Bay Area critical sphere, while the six-year-old Michelin Guide has risen in the hearts of minds of local foodinistas.
We wonder, too, how much longer the printed guides have after that whole acquisition by Google. Will 2013 be the last one? They clearly didn't put a ton of work into it, given the copyedit job on the binding. Ouch.
Update: Okay, it looks like those guides were supposed to be recalled and not out on shelves because of that "San Franscico" type-o. Go on about your business.
Zagat releases 2013 Bay Area San Francisco guide; Gary Danko is king once again [Scoop]
Earlier: Zagat Releases Their 2012 Guide, Lineup Looks a Lot Like Last Years
Local Chefs Weigh In on Google-Zagat Deal
Gary Danko Tops Zagat Survey For Seventh Year Running