Dept. of Guidebooks

The New Zagat’s Out…

…and wait till you see what it says.

By Kathryn Robinson January 20, 2010

Top honors for The Herbfarm

You know the Zagat guides? Those compilations of diner reviews of restaurants in cities across the globe? The new Seattle edition hits the streets this month, and here’s which restaurants the 3,165 contributors selected.

You may be surprised.

In the Top Food category, The Herbfarm logged in highest, earning 29 points out of 30 (and highest in the Top Service category to boot) with comments like “once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.” No disagreement here.

Second place in Top Food was a five-way tie: Rover’s, Cafe Juanita, Sitka and Spruce, Salumi, and Bakery Nouveau.

Yep, great food all. (Where are Cascina Spinasse? Corson Building? Poppy? All too new for this edition’s deadline, apparently.)

But Crush logging in after 21 other restaurants in a fourth-place berth? Tied with goofy breakfast joints like Glo’s and Maltby Cafe?

And what the heck are the stunning Boat Street Cafe and Tilth doing earning mere 25’s for food?

And only Dahlia Lounge of all the Tom Douglas restaurants listed in the upper echelons for service—Douglas’ most winning calling card—and only then at a 23-of-30 rating? (These contributors apparently preferred the fancy napkin-snapping routines of places like The Georgian and The Salish.)

As it reliably does, probably through overrepresentation of trend-happy foodies among its contributors, this edition of Zagats winds up vaulting perfectly fine places into a stratospheric region they haven’t yet earned. I’m thinking of Elemental @ Gasworks with its unmerited 26 for food, 23 for service.

What do you think of the new Zagat?

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