Zagat Survey yesterday released the results of its 2011 America's Top Restaurants guide, reporting the opinions and habits of over 153,000 avid diners.
Top restaurants, by city, and several interesting stats were also released. Ratings by market were previously released, but since you need online access or to buy the guide to see the full results Zagat gave me access to the Milwaukee list. To see full reviews, though, you'll have to pay.
In Milwaukee, the top Zagat-rated restaurants are:
- Eddie Martini's
- Lake Park Bistro
- Osteria del Mondo
- Ristorante Bartolotta
- La Merenda
- River Lane Inn
- Coquette Café
Interestingly, only a handful of restaurants have earned a near-perfect 29 for Service on Zagat's 30-point scale. These included French Room (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Inn at Little Washington (DC), Nicholas (New Jersey), Per Se (New York) and Milwaukee's own Sanford.
Also, surveyors report eating out less (3.1 times per week down from 3.3 pre-recession), being more attentive to prices (39 percent), eating in less expensive places (33 percent) and cutting back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts (17–21 percent). On a more positive note, 55 percent of respondents feel they're getting better deals via prix fixe meals and other discounts, 41 percent suspect their patronage is more appreciated and 33 percent say that reservations are easier to come by.
The national average price of a meal rose 2.2 percent in the past year to $35.37. The average tip in America? 19.2 percent (up from 19.1 percent in 2009).
The 2011 America's Top Restaurants guide ($15.95) was edited by Bill Corsello and is on sale now.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.