"This surveyor has to admit that Zagat's restaurant survey is
'phenomenally successful' and 'usefulat the very least for addresses.'
But it is also 'irksome in the extreme.' First of all, it is 'shockingly
lenient.' (Of the more than 1,500 restaurants in the New York 2001
edition, not a single one received a food rating of 'poor to fair,'
and only 50 restaurants rate 'fair to good.') This surveyor also found
it 'annoyingly arcane' (Babbo is rated among the city's most popular
restaurants but not among the most visited) and filled with 'lame wordplay'
(a Mexican-restaurant entry ends with the phrase 'need we say más?').
Not only that, but this surveyor finds the 'opinions of an anonymous
army of Uncle Ralphs and Aunt Selmas' to be 'oftentimes way off the
mark.' (Is the food at Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too in New York really
better than at the glorious Guastavino's, hands down New York's best
new restaurant last year, as Zagat ratings indicate?) For alternatives,
at least in New York, sample the 'more reliable' TimeOut Eating
& Drinking Guide or Gayot
New York City Restaurants."