Steve Plotnicki: Watch Out, Zagats!

Our man Steve Plotnicki, the so-called “king of the bloggers,” saw his 100 Best Restaurants of North America & Europe come out today, and while it might not put the Zagats out of the dining-guide business quite yet, we have to say we’re behind the Opinionated About Dining man. Plotnicki’s distinctive approach is to use a weighted system, so that the opinion of someone like himself — a deep-pocketed trencherman who eats out 300 nights a year — counts more than someone who comes into the city only occasionally or whose dining habits are limited entirely to his or her own neighborhood. “The difference between us and Zagat will be obvious to anyone who picks up the book,” says Plotnicki, confidently.

The entries are definitely more discerning that the Zagats'. A typical comment, for the top-rated New York restaurant, Jean Georges, is “intelligent conceptualization without sacrificing ingredient quality.” Or this zinger for Craft: “comfort food of the highest level.” The slim volume covers both America and Europe, but Plotnicki assures us that’s just a precursor to his massive Guide to Dining in North America 2009, coming this fall, the Hobbit to the latter's Lord of the Rings. A separate European guide will come in early 2009.

Earlier: Calling All Web-Surfing Gourmands: Opinionated About Dining Now in the Book Business