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100 Best Restaurants in America: OpenTable Releases Its 2018 List

(Source: forbes.com)

OpenTable—arguably the most used and most popular restaurant reservations system—just released one of its most anticipated 100-strong lists of the year: The 100 Best Restaurants in America.

The platform is known for regularly publishing data-driven lists across all categories (such as The 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians, The 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers, The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America, and more).

And they’re all interesting reads—mostly because these non-ranked rosters are a good gauge of how normal people like you and me eat. And that means the honorees are accessible for folks who don’t have expense accounts to cover 20-course tasting meals that last at least three hours. Very few are outrageously priced: The restaurants are almost always a good mix of high and reasonable.

These lists are a far cry from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the Michelin Guides, both of which seem to be completely oblivious to how fine dining has changed over the years. And both awards are pretty much the definition of Pale, Stale, and Male. (At least this year, the James Beard Awards made a not-insignificant effort to make it more diverse and inclusive.)

Beyond that, I appreciate that OpenTable looks to its enthusiastic diners to cast the votes—not overzealous critics, not “food influencers” who dine for free, and certainly not professional junketeers who are constantly whisked away to dining destinations with the unspoken understanding that a favorable review will be in the works. And for the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2018, the data is culled from more than 12 million verified diner reviews spanning 28,000 restaurants within all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“The 100 Best Restaurants in America list gives voice to OpenTable’s diner community by honoring the restaurants they love to visit and that consistently provide dining experiences that delight time and again,” Caroline Potter, chief dining officer at OpenTable, said in a release. “The diversity of this year’s list truly showcases how OpenTable helps diners find the right restaurant for every appetite and every occasion.”

As with last year, New York and California hold the most honorees—with 24 and 15 restaurants respectively. Illinois comes in third with nine. Texas has eight. Pennsylvania boasts seven, followed by Washington D.C. with six. Florida and Georgia each claim four.

It’s also great to note that some much-deserving quality restaurants have remained, such as Raoul’s (New York), Bones (Atlanta), Zahav (Philadelphia), and Girl and the Goat (Chicago).

And there was some noticeable movement in in my fair city (New York): Atera, Per Se, Le Coucou, Upland, Daniel, and Momofuku Ko have dropped out of diners’ favor. It seems like New Yorkers have been flocking to Omakase Room by Tatsu in the West Village (an eight-seat sushi bar) and Sistina (a fantastic neighborhood Italian restaurant in the Upper East Side).

In terms of states, there are also some noteworthy additions: New to the list are Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, and Rhode Island—with remarkable spots that include Matsuhisa DenverPhoenicia in BirminghamAgriVino in Carlton and The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn in Newport.

American and Italian are (predictably) the most sought-after cuisines—followed by French, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterannean. But if this year’s list is any indication, I’d say that Americans are becoming more and more open to new hyperlocal cuisines like modern Californian, Hawaiian. The diversity in this particular list gets more pronounced every year, which is refreshing to say the least—and reflects where the American palate is headed. And its trajectory is looking pretty good.

To view the full list, scroll all the way down or click here.

OPENTABLE’S 100 BEST RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA 2018

AgriVino (Carlton, Oregon)

The Arthur J (Manhattan Beach, California)

Atlas (Atlanta, Georgia)

Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford, California)

Avra Madison Estiatorio on 60th (New York, New York)

The Bar Room at The Modern (New York, New York)

Benu (San Francisco, California)

Bistro 31 (Dallas, Texas)

Blue Ridge Grill (Atlanta, Georgia)

BOCA (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Boka (Chicago, Illinois)

BondSt (New York, New York)

Bones (Atlanta, Georgia)

Bouchard Restaurant and Inn (Newport, Rhode Island)

Buccan (Palm Beach, Florida)

Bull & Bear Steakhouse (Orlando, Florida)

Cafe Monarch (Scottsdale, Arizona)

Cafe Provence (Prairie Village, Kansas)

The Capital Grille (Multiple Locations)

Casa Lever (New York, New York)

Chez Billy Sud (Washington, D.C. )

Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, California)

Costa Brava Bistro (Bellaire, Texas)

Del Posto (New York, New York)

The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn (Newport, Rhode Island)

Double Knot (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Ema (Chicago, Illinois)

Estiatorio Milos (New York, New York)

Frances (San Francisco, California)

Gabriel Kreuther (New York, New York)

Geronimo (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Gibsons Italia (Chicago, Illinois)

Girl & the Goat (Chicago, Illinois)

Gramercy Tavern (New York, New York)

GW Fins (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Highlands Bar & Grill (Birmingham, Alabama)

Il Mulino New York, Downtown (New York, New York)

Il Segreto (Bel Air, California)

The Inn at Little Washington (Washington, Virginia)

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (Multiple Locations)

Jungsik(New York, New York)

Kappo Masa (New York, New York)

Kinship (Washington, D.C. )

Koi (West Hollywood, California)

Kokkari Estiatorio (San Francisco, California)

Kyu (Miami, Florida)

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (New York, New York)

La Nouvelle Maison (Boca Raton, Florida)

Lafayette Restaurant (Washington, D.C. )

L’Artusi (New York, New York)

The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn (Newport, Rhode Island)

Le Bilboquet (Dallas, Texas)

Le Diplomate (Washington, D.C. )

Majorelle (New York, New York)

Mama’s Fish House (Paia, Hawaii)

Maple & Ash (Chicago, Illinois)

Marc Forgione (New York, New York)

Marea (New York, New York)

Market Restaurant and Bar (Del Mar, California)

Matsuhisa Denver (Denver, Colorado)

Mesero, Inwood Village (Dallas, Texas)

The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Mistral (Sherman Oaks, California)

The Modern (New York, New York)

Neighborhood Services, Lovers Lane (Dallas, Texas)

Noord (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Omakase Room by Tatsu (New York, New York)

Oriole (Chicago, Illinois)

Parc (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Phoenicia (Birmingham, Michigan)

The Polo Bar (New York, New York)

Quince (San Francisco, California)

Raoul’s (New York, New York)

Rasika (Washington, D.C.)

Rich Table (San Francisco, California)

RL Restaurant (Chicago, Illinois)

RPM Italian (Chicago, Illinois)

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Saloon Restaurant (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Salum Restaurant (Dallas, Texas)

Shinsei Restaurant (Dallas, Texas)

SHU Sushi House Unico (Bel Air, California)

Sistina (New York, New York)

Sotto (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Steak 44 and Steak 48 (Multiple Locations)

Steve & Cookie’s By the Bay (Margate, New Jersey)

Sushi Ginza Onodera (New York, New York)

Sushi Kaito (New York, New York)

Sushi Kappo Tamura (Seattle, Washington)

Sushi Nakazawa Sushi Bar (New York, New York)

The Table at Season To Taste (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Talula’s Garden (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Terzo (San Francisco, California)

Tosca Ristorante (Washington, D.C.)

Toscana (Los Angeles, California)

Tutta Pesca (Hoboken, New Jersey)

Uchi (Dallas, Texas)

Umi (Atlanta, Georgia)

Vetri Cucina (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Zahav (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

More Info: forbes.com

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