Yesterday was ZagatDay, meaning the 2012 little burgundy guide has been unveiled and is now available in bookstores. With that, the Top 12 Food winners in San Francisco as well.
Once again, Gary Danko took top honors in Food, Popularity, and Service. The Wharf fine dining destination has received the top food rating in the Bay Area every year since 2003, with the exception of 2009 when the French Laundry held the belt for a year. Gary Danko has been the most popular since 2005.
In the Food rankings, the biggest jumps were made by Manresa, (#4 now, #20 last year), and two that weren’t even in the top 50 last year, The Restaurant at Meadowood (now #6) and Aubergine (now #5).
The inclusion of Manresa and Meadowood, along with the French Laundry and Cyrus, means that four of the Bay’s five Michelin two- and three-stars are in the Zagat top six; the other, Coi (Zagat food score: 26), is not in the Top 50. Additionally, The Chronicle’s seven four-star restaurants — the aforementioned five, plus Chez Panisse and La Folie — are all represented in the above Top 12, except Coi.
Top Decor was once again won by Sierra Mar in Big Sur. Twenty Five Lusk (#8) was a newcomer in this category. The rest of the Top 10 Decor: Ahwahnee Dining Room, Auberge du Soleil, Erna’s Elderberry, Pacific’s Edge, Cyrus, Garden Court, Farallon and Big 4.
As for newcomers, the guide says that Michael Mina earned Top Newcomer status, with a score of 26. The other top newbies that got high marks were Atelier Crenn (26), Una Pizza Napoletana (26), Plow (25), and Station 1 (25). However, what counts as a newcomer seems to be a bit curious. For example, Cotogna (26) and Plum (24) both opened after Ragazza, Una Pizza, and Osteria Coppa — all which count as newbies.
This is the 25th year of the Bay Area/San Francisco Zagat Guide, and included in this year’s edition is a little side-by-side comparison of 1987 and 2012. Back then, Campton Place was Most Popular, Masa’s took Top Food (and Most Expensive). Top Japanese was Osome, Top Italian was Donatello and Top Newcomer was Square One.
As for Best Seafood, a category won this year by Swan Oyster Depot? That’s right, it was Swan Oyster Depot in ’87, too.
The survey also says that Bay Area is home to the worst tippers in the country. The Bay Area diners polled say that they tip an average of 18.6%, a number that ties with Seattle as lowest in America.
79% polled think San Francisco should adopt letter grades for health scores, like Los Angeles and New York.
And the final thought, appropriately with the check. The average meal cost in San Francisco is $38.88, which is fifth highest in the country, behind only Las Vegas (tops at $47.53), New York City, Long Island, and Miami. But before you start grumbling and shaking fists, consider that that number is still only a fraction of London ($69.25) and Tokyo ($113.09).
Source: Inside Scoop