12.13.2011
By Terry Flanagan

OpenTable lists Diners’ Top 100 Restaurants for 2011

Today, online restaurant reservation service OpenTable has released a list of restaurants most highly ranked by its users across the United States. Involving 34 restaurants overall, the list is diverse, ranging from high-end French cuisine (heavily represented in New York) to a chophouse in South Carolina.





Eleven Madison Park in New York City



“The restaurants on this list are wonderfully varied, but they have one overwhelming quality in common–each establishment is taking every opportunity to deliver a superb dining experience…quality and consistency in the food, service and setting…are three elements found in abundance by diners”, according to Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer (nice title, and I’m willing to bet that Miss Potter knows a thing or two about what makes a good restaurant great).



Interestingly, North Carolina and California represented the highest number of top destinations for this list, with each state carrying ten restaurants. Once broken down by population, the results become more distinct: per capita, North Carolina has the most top restaurants, with one for every 950,000 people. Colorado, with four restaurants, and Virginia, with six, are nearly tied at second place, with one top restaurant for every 1.25 million and 1.3 million people, respectively. Ohio is a distant fourth, its four restaurants distributing to one per 2.87 million people.



The big states–electorally, anyway–are far more dispersed per capita. New York comes in at 5th place, with 1 top restaurant per 3.21 million people. Of its six restaurants, four are in Manhattan and consist of the usual Michelin-starred suspects: Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, and Per Se. Only two are outside of New York City: The North Fork Table & Inn, from Southold, Long Island, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, Westchester County.



For our readers in the Windy City, Les Nomades in Chicago, Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse in Downers Grove, and Vie, from Western Springs represented Illinois.



If you aren’t an Open Table member already, the website provides free reservation services, sends e-mail reminders, makes cancellations and rescheduling easy, and, best of all, gives users dining discounts once they’ve accumulated a certain number of points (earned every time a user makes a reservation and eats at the restaurant). The list, based on feedback collected from OpenTable users between December 2010 and November 2011, can be found on Open Table at www.opentable.com/bestoverall.



Photo:  nyt.com

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