Steve Plotnicki Unveils "Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011’s" Most Important Restaurants in the U.S.

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Prolific food blogger reveals list of the best restaurants in the country and detailed best of list by region

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Pioneering food blogger Steve Plotnicki released today a list of the Most Important Restaurants in the U.S. detailed in his new guidebook, Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011: Informed Reviews of 2,000 of the Top Places to Eat in the Country, which will be published on May 24, 2011 ($29.95). The 576-page guide includes a comprehensive list of restaurants that were awarded a score of 95 or higher in the 2011 survey.

40 restaurants qualified for this year’s list, which included 14 restaurants awarded the guide’s highest designation: “Worth Planning a Trip Around”. Six restaurants earned a perfect score of 100 points: The French Laundry, Younvtille, Ca; Per Se, New York, NY; Manresa, Los Gatos; Ca, Masa, New York, NY, Alinea, Chicago, Il, and Jean George, New York, NY. 26 additional restaurants on the list earned the designation of “An Important Destination”.

Plotnicki’s approach to rating restaurants relies on tapping into the experience and opinions from diners who are passionate about where they eat and who describe how strongly they would recommend a restaurant and why. His methodology further gives weight to different kinds of restaurants and survey participants based on factors such as price point and number of restaurants reviewed. The surveys that form the basis of the ratings and reviews in the guide are open to everyone and can be accessed via the “Opinionated About Dining” website. (http://www.opinionatedaboutdining.com).

Plotnicki has also published a list of 109 restaurants that have earned a designation of “Highly Recommended Restaurants” (restaurants that earned a rating between 92-94.9 points), as well as a list of the Top 15 restaurants listed by region.

Below are the Most Important U.S. Restaurants, Highly Recommended Restaurants, and Top 15 by Region:

Most Important Restaurants in the U.S. (rating based on a 100 point scale):

Worth Planning a Trip Around
1. The French Laundry, Yountville, CA             100.0
2. Per Se, New York, NY                 100.0
3. Manresa, Los Gatos, CA                100.0
4. Masa, New York, NY                 100.0
5. Alinea, Chicago, IL                 100.0
6. Jean Georges, New York, NY                 100.0
7. Urasawa, Beverly Hills, CA                 99.3
8. Le Bernardin, New York, NY                 98.6
9. Sushi Yasuda, New York, NY                 98.5
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY                     98.4
10. Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA         98.4
12. Guy Savoy, Las Vegas, NV                 98.2
12. Minibar, Washington DC                 98.2
14. Kuruma Zushi, New York, NY             98.0

An Important Destination
15. Town House, Chilhowie, VA                 97.6
16. Momofuku Ko, New York, NY             97.4
17. Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA                 97.3
18. Corton, New York, NY                 97.2
18. Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY                         97.2
20. McCrady’s, Charleston, SC                 96.8
20. Schwa, Chicago, IL                 96.8
22. Coi, San Francisco, CA                 96.7
22. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, New York, NY         96.7
24. Quince, San Francisco, CA                 96.2
25. Bouley, New York, NY                 96.1
25. Peter Luger, Brooklyn, NY                 96.1
25. Ubuntu, Napa, CA                 96.1
28. Providence, Los Angeles, CA             96.0
29. Sushi Ran, Sausalito, CA                 95.9
30. Avenues, Chicago, IL                 95.6
30. Komi, Washington DC                 95.6
32. Daniel, New York, NY                 95.5
32. Spago, Beverly Hills, CA                 95.5
32. Sugiyama, New York, NY                 95.5
35. Commis, Oakland, CA                 95.3
36. Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA                95.2
36. North Fork Table & Inn, Southold, NY                         95.2
38. Marinus, Carmel, CA                 95.1
39. Sushi Taro, Washington DC                 95.1
40. The Herbfarm, Woodinville, WA             95.0

Highly Recommended

Aubergine Carmel, CA         94.9
Miyake Portland, ME                         94.8
Volt Fredericksburg, MD         94.8
Nishimura West Hollywood, CA                 94.7
Spiaggia Chicago, IL                         94.7
Sushi Seki New York, NY                     94.7
American Restaurant
Kansas City, MO             94.6
Charlie Trotter’s Chicago, IL                     94.6
Blue Hill New York, NY         94.5
Matsuhisa West Hollywood, CA                 94.4
O Ya Boston, MA             94.4
Sanford Milwaukee, WI         94.4
Soto New York, NY                         94.4
Elements Princeton, NJ         94.3
L20 Chicago, IL            94.3
Citronelle Washington DC                     94.1
Craft New York, NY                        94.0
Cut Beverly Hills, CA                        94.0
Patina Los Angeles, CA         94.0
Asanebo Studio City, CA        93.8
Bern’s Steak house Tampa, FL                     93.8
Café Boulud New York, NY                     93.8
Highland’s Bar & Grill
Birmingham, AL             93.8
Momofuku Säam Bar
New York, NY             93.8
Mori Sushi Los Angeles, CA                    93.8
Gary Danko San Francisco, CA                     93.7
Restaurant Eugene Atlanta, GA                     93.7
Saam - The Tasting Room
West Hollywood, CA                         93.7
Sushi Zo Los Angeles, CA                     93.7
Everest Chicago, IL                         93.6
Gramercy Tavern
New York, NY             93.6
Momofuku Noodle Bar
New York, NY             93.6
Moto Chicago, IL            93.6
No. 9 Park Boston, MA         93.6
Nobu New York, NY                         93.6
Uchi Austi, TX             93.6
Castagna Portland, OR         93.5
Blackbird Chicago, IL                        93.4
Canlis Seattle, WA                         93.4
Mama’s Fish House
Honolulu, HI             93.4
Raku Las Vegas, NV                         93.4
Sawa Sushi Sunnyvale, CA                     93.4
Totoraku
Los Angeles, CA             93.4
WD-50 New York, NY         93.4
Aquavit New York, NY         93.3
Auberge de Soleil
Rutherford, CA             93.3
Hugo’s Portland, ME                         93.3
Marea New York, NY                         93.3
Masa’s San Francisco, CA                     93.2
Picasso Las Vegas, NV         93.2
Ritz- Carlton Dining Room
San Francisco, CA                      93.2
Topolobampo Chicago, IL                  93.2
Galatoire’s New Orleans, LA                  93.1
Quinones at Bacchanalia
Atlanta, GA                      93.1
Rover’s Seattle, WA                      93.1
The Bazaar
West Hollywood, CA                         93.1
Vetri Philadelphia, PA         93.1
Il Grano Los Angeles, CA                     93.0
Michy’s Miami, FL                        93.0
Osteria Mozza Los Angeles, CA                 93.0
Picholine New York, NY         93.0
Pluckemin Inn Bedminster, NJ                     93.0
Chef Mavro Honolulu, HI                     92.9
Inn at Little Washington
Washington, VA             92.9
Locanda Verde New York, NY                     92.9
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar
Rockland, ME             92.9
Tallula’s Table
Kennett Square, PA                         92.9
Bacchanalia Atlanta, GA                     92.8
Lucques West Hollywood, CA                     92.8
Swan Oyster Depot
San Francisco, CA                         92.8
Uni Boston, MA             92.8
Aldea New York, NY                         92.7
Niche St. Louis, MO                         92.7
Sushi Zen New York, NY                     92.7
Angelini Osteria
Los Angeles, CA             92.6
Fore Street Portland, ME                     92.6
Kiss Sushi San Francisco, CA                     92.6
Nobu Next Door
New York, NY             92.6
Annisa New York, NY         92.5
Kyo Ya New York, NY         92.5
La Folie San Francisco, CA                     92.5
LudoBites Los Angeles, CA                     92.5
Minetta Tavern New York, NY                     92.5
Sushi Ota San Diego, CA         92.5
Charleston Baltimore, MD                     92.4
Frontera Grill Chicago, IL                     92.4
Hatsuhana New York, NY                     92.4
June Peoria, IL             92.4
Sushi Nozawa
Studio City, CA             92.4
Benu San Francisco, CA         92.3
Blackberry Farm
Walland, TN             92.3
Ame San Francisco, CA         92.2
Bluestem
Kansas City, MO             92.2
Brigtsen’s
New Orleans, LA             92.2
Chez Panisse
Café Berkeley, CA                         92.2
Katsu-Ya Studio City, CA                     92.2
Lincoln New York, NY         92.2
Modern, The New York, NY                     92.2
Neptune Oyster Boston, MA                     92.2
Sidney Street Café
St. Louis, MO             92.2
Boulevard San Francisco, CA                     92.1
Baumé Palo Alto, CA         92.0
Binkley’s Cave Creek, CA                     92.0
Crush Seattle, WA                         92.0
Esca New York, NY                         92.0
L’Etoile Madison, WI                         92.0
Mélisse Santa Monica, CA                     92.0
Morimoto Philadelphia, PA                     92.0
Revolver Findlay, OH                         92.0

Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011 is organized by geographic regions of the country, including: “Atlanta & The South”; “ Boston & New England”; “ Chicago & The Midwest”; “Las Vegas & The Southwest”; “Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii”; “New York Metro, Long Island, & Upstate”; “San Francisco, Northern California, & Pacific Northwest”; and “Washington, D.C. & The Mid-Atlantic.”

The geographical organization of the reviews allows for restaurants from many different regions of the country to be considered, not just those in major metropolitan areas. The Top 15 Restaurants by region include:

Boston & New England
1. Miyake Portland, ME        94.8
2. O Ya Boston, MA             94.4
3. No. 9 Park Boston, MA         93.6
4. Hugo’s Portland, ME         93.3
5. Suzuki’s Sushi Bar Rockland, ME     92.9
6. Uni Boston, MA             92.8
7. Fore Street Portland, ME         92.6
8. Neptune Oyster Boston, MA         92.2
9. Bizen Great Barrington, MA         91.6
9. Rialto Cambridge, MA        91.6
9. Ten Tables Cambridge, MA         91.6
12. Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound
Trenton, ME             91.5
13. Primo Rockland, ME         91.4
14. Anneke Jans Kittery, ME         91.1
15. Clio Boston, MA             91.0
15. Hen of the Wood Waterbury, VT     91.0

New York Metropolitan & Upstate
1. Jean Georges New York, NY         100.0
1. Masa New York, NY         100.0
1. Per Se New York, NY         100.0
4. Le Bernardin New York, NY         98.6
5. Sushi Yasuda New York, NY         98.5
6. Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, NY             98.4
7. Kuruma Zushi New York, NY         98.0
8. Momofuku Ko New York, NY         97.4
9. Corton New York, NY         97.2
9. Eleven Madison Park
New York, NY             97.2
11. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
New York, NY             96.7
12. Bouley New York, NY         96.1
12. Peter Luger Brooklyn, NY         96.1
14. Daniel New York, NY         95.5
14. Sugiyama New York, NY         95.5

Washington DC & the Mid-Atlantic
1. Minibar Washington DC         98.2
2. Komi Washington DC         95.6
3. Sushi Taro Washington DC                     95.1
4. Volt Fredericksburg, MD         94.8
5. Citronelle Washington DC         94.1
6. Vetri Philadelphia, PA         93.1
7. Inn at Little Washington
Washington, VA             92.9
7. Talula’s Table Kennett Square, PA         92.9
9. Charleston Baltimore, MD         92.4
10. Morimoto Philadelphia, PA                     92.0
11. CityZen Washington DC         91.5
12. Amada Philadelphia, PA         91.4
12. Birchrunville Store Café
Birchrunville, PA             91.4
14. Prime Rib Baltimore, MD         91.1
15. Deep Blue Wilmington, DE                     90.9

Atlanta & the South
1. Town House Chilhowie, VA                     97.6
2. McCrady’s Charleston, SC         96.8
3. Bern’s Steak House Tampa, FL     93.8
3. Highland’s Bar & Grill
Birmingham, AL             93.8
5. Restaurant Eugene Atlanta, GA     93.7
6. Galatoire’s New Orleans, LA                     93.1
6. Quinones Room at Bacchanalia
Atlanta, GA             93.1
8. Michy’s Miami, FL             93.0
9. Bacchanalia Atlanta, GA         92.8
10. Blackberry Farm Walland, TN     92.3
11. Brigtsen’s New Orleans, LA                     92.2
12. Clancy’s New Orleans, LA                     91.7
12. Hot and Hot Fish Club
Birmingham, AL             91.7
14. Victoria & Albert’s Orlando, FL     91.5
15. Lantern Chapel Hill, NC        91.3

Chicago & the Midwest
1. Alinea Chicago, IL             100.0
2. Schwa Chicago, IL             96.8
3. Avenues Chicago, IL         95.6
4. Spiaggia Chicago, IL         94.7
5. American Restaurant
Kansas City, MO             94.6
5. Charlie Trotter’s Chicago, IL                     94.6
7. Sanford Milwaukee, WI         94.4
8. L20 Chicago, IL             94.3
9. Everest Chicago, IL         93.6
9. Moto Chicago, IL             93.6
11. Blackbird Chicago, IL         93.4
12. Topolobampo Chicago, IL                     93.2
13. Niche St. Louis, MO         92.7
14. Frontera Grill Chicago, Il         92.4
14. June Peoria, IL             92.4

Las Vegas & the Southwest
1. Guy Savoy Las Vegas, NV         98.2
2. Uchi Austin, TX            93.6
3. Raku Las Vegas, NV         93.4
4. Picasso Las Vegas, NV         93.2
5. Binkley’s Cave Creek, AZ         92.0
6. Kai Chandler, AZ             91.8
6. Mizuna Denver, CO         91.8
8. Matsuhisa Aspen Aspen, CO                     91.5
8. Michael Mina Las Vegas, NV                     91.5
8. Stephen Pyle Dallas, TX         91.5
11. Mansion on Turtle Creek
Dallas, TX 91.4
11. Nobu Dallas, TX             91.4
11. NOCA Scottsdale, AZ         91.4
14. Joël Robuchon at the Mansion
Las Vegas, NV             91.3
15. Craft Dallas, TX             91.0
15. Craftsteak Las Vegas, NV         91.0
15. Lotus of Siam Las Vegas, NV     91.0

Los Angeles, Southern California & Hawaii
1. Urasawa Beverly Hills, CA                     99.3
2. Providence Los Angeles, CA                     96.0
3. Spago Beverly Hills, CA         95.5
4. Nishimura West Hollywood, CA     94.7
5. Matsuhisa West Hollywood, CA     94.4
6. Cut Beverly Hills, CA         94.0
6. Patina Los Angeles, CA         94.0
8. Asanebo Studio City, CA         93.8
9. Mori Sushi Los Angeles, CA                     93.8
10. Saam - The Tasting Room
West Hollywood, CA                         93.7
10. Sushi Zo Los Angeles, CA                     93.7
12. Mama’s Fish House
Honolulu, HI             93.4
12. Totoraku (Secret Beef Place)
Los Angeles, CA             93.4
14. The Bazaar West Hollywood, CA         93.1
15. Il Grano Los Angeles, CA         93.0
15. Osteria Mozza Los Angeles, CA     93.0

San Francisco, Northern
California & the Pacific Northwest
1.The French Laundry
Yountville, CA             100.0
2. Manresa Los Gatos, CA         100.0
3. Meadowood, Restaurant
St. Helena, CA             98.4
4. Cyrus Healdsburg, CA         97.3
5. Coi San Francisco, CA         96.7
6. Quince San Francisco, CA         96.2
7. Ubuntu Napa, CA             96.1
8. Sushi Ran Sausalito, CA         95.9
9. Commis Oakland, CA         95.3
10. Chez Panisse
Berkeley, CA             95.2
11. Marinus Carmel, CA         95.1
12. The Herbfarm
Woodinville, WA             95.0
13. Aubergine Carmel, CA         94.9
14. Gary Danko
San Francisco, CA             93.7
15. Castagna Portland, OR         93.5

About the Author    
Plotnicki’s passion for food has long been an intrinsic part of his life, if not always his career. A native New Yorker, he was a successful guitarist and songwriter before co-founding Profile Records in 1981. Among the artists Plotnicki developed for the label were groundbreaking urban and hip-hop acts such as Run-D.M.C. As his business took off, so did his passion for food, which was further influenced by traveling around the world and visiting a number of acclaimed restaurants. Plotnicki worked in the music and television industries for the next two decades—all the while continuing to expand his culinary vocabulary and experiences. In 2003, he launched a discussion forum, which morphed into his “Opinionated About Dining” blog, a project that established him as one of the most prolific early food bloggers. Initially conceived as a way to share information about his dining experiences with other enthusiasts, “Opinionated About Dining” continued to evolve and attract readers. In 2007, Plotnicki developed a formal survey for readers and fellow diners publishing in 2008 a 56-page booklet on the 100 best restaurants in North America and Europe. After this experience, Plotnicki further refined his surveys with the aim of creating a guidebook that would inspire a community of people for whom dining is a true passion.

The Details
Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011, compiled, written, and published by Steve Plotnicki, will be available May 24, 2011. For additional information, please visit http://www.opinionatedaboutdining.com. To request a review copy or schedule an interview, please contact Jessica Rodriguez at jessica(at)wagstaffworldwide(dot)com or 212.227.7575.

For more information, or to request a review copy of the book, please contact Jessica Rodriguez at Wagstaff Worldwide: jessica(at)wagstaffworldwide(dot)com or 212.227. 7575

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