In case you are wondering, "D" is my husband -- Dave Liu! As you've probably noticed, I don't update this blog often but I may post more as I've linked this to my Google+ account.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Top 10 Overrrated and Underrated Restaurants

From the Wall Street Journal comes an article (paid subscription required) by Raymond Sokolov about the top ten overrated restaurants in the U.S.:

  • Norman's, Coral Gables, Fla.
    • The Rep: American and Caribbean traditions, creatively interpreted
    • Our Take: A hodgepodge of ideas and ingredients
  • Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif.
    • The Rep: The Vatican of New American cuisine
    • Our Take: A dinner party thrown by aging hippies with a really great vegetable garden
  • Emeril's, New Orleans
    • The Rep: TV star takes Cajun/Creole cuisine national
    • Our Take: Better versions a short paddle away
  • Restaurant 66, New York
    • The Rep: Chinese cuisine rethought by a French genius
    • Our Take: Pale classics presented chicly by overextended cook-entrepreneur
  • Peter Luger Steak House, New York
    • The Rep: America's best steak
    • Our Take: Brooklyn's best steak (try Manhattan's :Sparks" instead)
  • Bastide, Los Angeles
    • The Rep: Best high-end food in L.A.
    • Our Take: Best high-end food in L.A. -- but sadly, it can't match other cities' top spots
  • The Ivy, Los Angeles
    • The Rep: Hollywood's foremost place to do lunch and see stars
    • Our Take: A self-consciously unglittery place with decent but unremarkable food
  • Le Cirque, Las Vegas
    • The Rep: Fancy dining comes to Vegas
    • Our Take: An overpriced road show
  • The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas
    • The Rep: Grand dining in a great house
    • Our Take: Painful and pricey attempt to make a dowager hip again (try "Café Modern" at the Fort Worth's Museum of Modern Art instead)
  • Joe's Stone Crab, Miami
    • The Rep: An endless wait for the best stone crab in creation
    • Our Take: A stone crab is a stone crab is a stone crab

Raymond also provides a list of the top ten underrated restaurants that you should patronize:

  • Deseo -- Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Citronelle -- Washington, D.C.
  • Café Modern -- Fort Worth, Texas
  • Oliveto -- Oakland, Calif.
  • Miller's Pub -- Chicago
  • Chumley's -- New York
  • Mulate's -- New Orleans
  • Tasty Dumplings -- New York
  • Buffet at Bellagio -- Las Vegas

I think we have a copy of Zagat at home but we rarely use it. More often than not, I refer to for the user reviews. It's accurate most of the time. For instance, D & I enjoyed eating at highly rated La Luna Restaurant last week. Another site I like is I question the objectivity of their reviews, aso I only use it for making reservations. It's convenient and you earn OpenTable Points for using the service as part of their OpenTable Dining Rewards Program.

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