We always wondered why Zagat has a monopoly on restaurant surveys. The same thought seems to have occurred to Steve Plotnicki, the man behind the blog Opinionated About Dining. Don’t be fooled by OAD’s resemblance to the rest of the blogger-with-a-digital-camera food sites. It hosts a very big and very vigorous private forum, whose members will be the backbone of a new book on the top 100 restaurants in America and Europe this March. The OAD members are deep-pocketed diners who eat all over the city, so the book’s core of opinions will be strong.
Plotnicki, though, has opened up the survey to nonmembers, who can register via the book’s Website. Reviews by members will carry more weight, but anyone willing to write detailed and thoughtful reviews is welcome to contribute, Plotnicki says, "especially if you travel a lot." There are various discounts to area gourmet stores to be had for submitting, but the real reason is to counteract the undue influence the Zagat survey has on our dining scene. On that score alone we support Plotnicki, but having seen him out and about, frequently, with only his camera and his bottomless appetite, we have to admit to having a sentimental favoritism at play too.
Opinionated About Dining [Official site]