Zagat 2012 Covets Le Bernardin, Ai Fiori, Per Se, and a Couple of Cheapies Too

Between Zagat and Michelin, beware of industry egos and mood swings today.

It’s kind of like Jon Stewart bringing home another Emmy, but Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin has been ranked first in Zagat’s 2012 food category, scoring a 29 out of 30. He prevails in this category for the third year straight. Also, Asiate wins for top decor; Per Se for top service; and Michael White’s Ai Fiori for top newcomer (Marea déjà vu?). More to digest: "The average cost of a meal has risen 4.1%, from $41.76 to $43.46," says Zagat. To offset that, the guide pimps out plenty of cheaper, often ethnic eats too. SriPraPhai of Woodside was voted the best Thai food in the city for the seventh year in a row, and Astoria’s Taverna Kyclades and the Turkish Grill in Sunnyside both got top marks. [Zagat, Related]