The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Survey Says ...

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Jul 20, 2006 6:42PM

The Zagat Survey’s listings are as vast as the city’s dining options, and that’s why we love it. Today, the company announced the top restaurants in the 2006/07 edition. With more than 4,800 local diners reviewing 1,000-plus eateries, the book features the best of the best in every category. zagatchi.gif

This morning at the Park Hyatt, co-publisher Tim Zagat presented the awards to the top-ranked restaurants. He noted several industry and Chicago-specific trends. Compared to other cities, Chicagoans have a greater preference for American food (another steak, please!). Chicagoans also tip a percent or two more than other cities (‘cause we’re generous like that). And, overall, service lags behind food in quality (step it up, front of house).

Segueing into the top service award, Zagat presented Alinea Chef Grant Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas with the plaque. Achatz took the award, but declined to say a few words of thanks (which we thought was odd). Instead, Kokonas stepped up and acknowledged the honor. In fact, the only time Achatz really spoke up was later in the ceremony when Zagat asked how to pronounce the restaurant’s name.

The top food award went to Carlos’ (up from fifth place last year), top décor went to NoMI, and most popular (up from second) was Charlie Trotter’s.

Zagat also noted Chicago’s reputation as a top dining city, noting the numerous listings in the noteworthy newcomers section. Of the more than 80 new restaurants, notables include Agami, Hachi, Zapatista and Carnivale.

Covering all ends of the spectrum, the top spot in the hotdog category is filled by Hot Doug’s, with Superdawg just behind it.

“There's nothing like eating in Chicago, where fine dining means everything from hotdogs and deep dish pizza to eight-course tasting menus and everything in between," Zagat said.

We couldn’t agree more.