| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 2 New Yorkers are eating out at
the same clip as recent years, but they're spending less in
restaurants and ordering fewer take-out meals, according to the
new Zagat restaurant survey.
There were twice as many restaurant openings than closings
in New York over the past year and d iners still eat out three
times per week -- the same number as in each of the past three
years, a cc ording to the survey of 44,306 people, which will be
released on Wednesday.
But the average restaurant tab plummeted nearly 10 percent
this year to $39.18, and the s urvey also showed t hat f or the
first time people reported that fewer than half their meals, 49
percent, were eaten out or taken out, continuing a decade-long
Hipster Asian restaurants, featuring low-priced food with
high-end flourishes, were all the rage in New York, Zagat
The majority of new dining spots were informal, less
expensive restaurants. Some 400 of the New York guide's 2,120
restaurants offer dinner, including a drink and tip, for less
"It's pretty clear that things have not changed much (for
the better), but restaurants seem to be pretty full," said Tim
Zagat, co-founder of the guides, which were established more
than three decades ago.
"It's overwhelmingly the casual, inexpensive restaurants
that diners are looking for," Zagat said.
"The new restaurants in the city are almost all of that kind
-- but they better have good food and be fun," he said, adding
that "the formal, fine-dining restaurants requiring a jacket and
tie are almost of thing of the past."
Zagat collates diners' ratings and reviews of restaurants in
a single guidebook. Restaurants are rated on a 30-point scale on
food, decor and service.
New York's Japanese restaurants received the highest average
food scores in the poll, with a 24.3 on a scale of 30. American
and French eateries were virtually tied for second, though
diners continue to name Italian, by far, as their favorite
Outside of Manhattan, Brooklyn's dining scene continued to
heat up. Blanca, a 12-seat arrival in the gritty Bushwick
neighborhood, won raves for its $180 tasting menu.
New York's dining's scene also got several jolts of
adrenalin with restaurant imports such as London's Hakkasan,
Beirut's Almayass and Moscow's Brasserie Pushkin.
Eric Ripert's French seafood palace Le Bernardin was rated
highest for food for the fourth consecutive year, an accolade it
has taken in eight of the past 10 years. Asian fusion restaurant
Asiate was cited for best decor, while Per Se took the honors
for best service.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Leslie Adler)