Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NYC Restaurant List-More puzzling than ever

Sometimes you have to take things with a grain of salt. In this case, it is salty food.

Every now and then I check Trip Advisor%26#39;s Top Ten Restaurant List to see what visitors are enjoying (or not enjoying) in the Big Apple. Looking at the list (below) all I could do is say ';Huh?';

I thought, is there anyone out there who would remotely agree with most of the places on this list??

Well maybe the visitors are on to something. So there is the Numero Uno, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Number One out of 4,454 restaurants in all New York, according to the powers that be at Trip Advisor--

Freemans Restaurant.

Hmm...Somehow I never heard of it...Must be very popular with visitors to rank this high right? Wrong.

The #1 ranking is based on 2 guidebook reviews and one article. Zero TA User Reviews.

Hmm... okay, well maybe it%26#39;s just a little blip on the old radar screen... How about #2 in all of Gotham, a place called--- Bongo (???)

Ahh.. Bongo achieved its vaulted status from 3 guidebooks, 1 user review, 1 web comment. Well at least there was one user.

#3 Pho Tu Do? Et tu, Pho Tu do? --2 Guidebooks alone elevated it to Number 3.

#6 Ghenet?, 4 guidebooks, 4 web comments. #7 Paul%26#39;s Place, 2 guidebooks, 1 web comment, #9 Provence, 4 guidebooks, 1 web comment, #10 Il Covo dell%26#39;Est, 3 guidebooks, 1 web comment.

At #4 and #5 Danube and Gramercy Tavern, arguably deserve a spot on the list.

The rest makes no sense at all, and I for one truly wonder what is behind these rankings.

The Tantalizing Top Ten

1. Freemans Restaurant

2. Bongo

3. Pho Tu Do

4. Danube

5. Gramercy Tavern

6. Ghenet Restaurant

7. Paul%26#39;s Place

8. Mamoun%26#39;s Falafel

9. Provence

10. Il Covo dell%26#39;Est

%26#39;Tis a puzzlement.

NYC Restaurant List-More puzzling than ever

wow, that IS very puzzling! freemans is great and did become a trendy foodie spot when it opened, but how odd it%26#39;s number one. gramercy tavern, okayyyy. mamoun%26#39;s falafel is a place you stop at after a night of drinking! hahahaha. as for all the others... i cannot believe they are on any sort of list.

NYC Restaurant List-More puzzling than ever

That%26#39;s a bit like how the hotel reviews puzzle me. They might have 1 or 2 5* user reviews but their average is like 4* and is ranked 120th or something.

That%26#39;s why this forum (and the contributors!!!) is an invaluable tool.....

I%26#39;d noticed that too. Strange, but so is the hotel list.

I%26#39;ve never looked at that list before - it seems like a total joke if you disregard #%26#39;s 4 and 5 - you think it might be like pay to play?

I have always maintained that the hotel rankings are equally confounding. It%26#39;s nothing more than a popularity contest at best. How can you rank the Courtyard Times Square over say, the Four Seasons or the BW Hospitality over Trump International.

Recommend you purchase a New York (not New Yorker) magazine, the back of the magazine gives a decent review of all price range and area restaurants......Freemans being one of the favorites. Alot of general info as well, clubs, concerts, art and entertainment etc. Or go on to their website..

So don%26#39;t actual TA user/diner reviews count for anything? Puzzling indeed. Ta. MMM!


I subscribe to New York Magazine, they offer a very attractive (cheap) subscription rate. I love it.

The magazine also puts out a guide of its top 100 favorite restaurants and 50 favorite restaurants under $30.

Freeman%26#39;s isn%26#39;t on either list. None of the others are either, except Gramercy Tavern. That%26#39;s out of 150 restaurants representing high end and low end dining.

So TA wasn%26#39;t using New York Magazine%26#39;s preferences either.

The journalist in me made me probe just a little deeper at what criteria TA used in formulating its rankings.

For #1 Freeman%26#39;s:

Of the two guidebooks one from the Village Voice, reads as follows:

';Finding this obscurely located joint just east of Bowery off Rivington, propelling yourself down an alley that feels like something in a Jack the Ripper movie, and then finding a seat in a thronged dining room hung with stuffed animal heads is the challenge. The modestly inventive food tastes much better than it looks鈥擨鈥檓 thinking in particular of a gray poached chicken engulfed in carrots and celery鈥攁nd sets you back less than you%26#39;d expect. The lamb sandwich and adult macaroni and cheese also merit commendation. Although many of these seasonal dishes seem like bar snacks for the overpriced wines and cocktails.';

The Voice%26#39;s dining critic, Mr. Sietsema is capable of much higher praise than ';modestly inventive,'; and ...';many of these seasonal dishes seem like bar snacks for the overpriced wine and cocktails,'; when he likes a place. This is hardly a good basis for a #1 ranking.

The one ';article'; on Freeman%26#39;s is extraordinarily lackluster, and calls the place ';dusty.';

For #2 Bongo, this is the one user review:

';This is more of a lounge then a restaurant, but the food is delicious. I tried the tuna burger as well as the crab cake burger and they were amazing! They also have a variety of fun and fabulous drinks and they don%26#39;t skimp on the alcohol. Couches, chairs and coffee tables with a beautiful colored glass collection... it%26#39;s really nice. But, the food is even better!';

GAYOT, one of the guidebooks calls Bongo a ';bar-lounge.'; The Voice reviews says it is a bar with seafood, but you better bring your own bread if you want to absorb the alcohol.

A bar with good seafood perhaps, but New York%26#39;s second top restaurant????

Live, I agree with you.

The list is ridiculous!

No comments:

Post a Comment