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2011 NYC Zagat Survey: French, familiar

Another year, another Zagat Survey of New York City Restaurants hits the book stores. The cover reads "2011," but the lineup in the “top food” category is pretty similar to 2010's. Boring or an inspiring sign of consistency?

Top spot once again belongs to French seafood restaurant Le Bernardin (chef Eric Ripert), followed by Per Se (French-American cuisine by chef Thomas Keller, who last year held fourth position). Another bastion of French cuisine, Daniel, commands third place (chef Daniel Boulud goes down a notch from second last year). Fourth position belongs to yet another French spot, Jean Georges (chef Jean Georges Vongerichten was in third in 2010) while the Japanese restaurant Sushi Yasuda (chef Naomichi Yasuda), makes the only real comeback, catapulting from last year's tenth spot to this year's fifth.

What’s entirely new to this year's Survey? The food truck category. Wafels & Dinges (specializing in Belgian waffles) parks in first place, garnering a 24 rating. If you want to read any food truck reviews, though, you have to go online to zagat.com.

How the Survey works: Respondants fill out forms (either on paper or online) rating restaurants in several categories (food, decor, service, for example) as well as providing pithy commentary on each. The ratings are tabulated to arrive at a score for each restaurant; 30 points being the highest.  In this Survey, Le Bernardin is the sole restaurant to achieve a 29-point food rating.

Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, tops in food in the Zagat Survey New York City Restaurants 2011

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