You probably best know OpenTable.com as a way to make reservations, but it’s also a great way to review restaurants that you’ve dined at. The site has combed through more than 20 million reviews, and has released their ranking of the top 100 restaurants in America according to diners.
Here are the top 10:
10) goosefoot, Chicago
9) The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.
8) The Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, N.C.
7) Orchids at Palm Court, Cincinnati, Ohio
6) o ya, Boston
5) Charleston, Baltimore, Md.
4) Hall's Chophouse, Charleston, S.C.
3) n/naka, Los Angeles.
2) Mama’s Fish House, Paia, Hawaii
1) St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Calif.
We reached out to OpenTable’s chief dining officer Caroline Potter for insights as to methodology, differences between this year’s list and last year’s, and trends. Here’s what she had to say:
The Daily Meal: How was the list assembled this year? What methodology did you use?
Caroline Potter: Restaurants had to have a minimum number of qualifying reviews during the year to be considered for the list. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated using the following variables: The average rating in the "overall" category; the restaurant’s overall rating relative to the average for its metro area; the total number of qualifying reviews; and a diner influence rating based on the average number of individual restaurants reviewed by the restaurant’s diners during the qualifying period.
How is this year’s list different from last year? What are some of the top newcomers?
The 2013 list differs from the previous year in scope. In 2012 we had winners in 27 states and D.C., while this year we have winners in 30 states and D.C. California and New York restaurants remain exceedingly popular, yet many other parts of the country have thriving fine dining scenes, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas — and beyond.
Many of the 2013 honorees are new to the list. Recently opened restaurants have shown that they are really hitting the ground running (such as St. Francis, goosefoot, and Noisette). Hot spots, such as Girl & the Goat and Rasika are getting their due, and long-running establishments, such as La Grenouille, remain atop their game.
What are some top dining trends that you noticed?
The big takeaway here is that the definition of fine dining continues to evolve. There's real freedom now for both chefs and restaurateurs to execute their unique vision of fine dining, and this is a real win for diners. The category of fine dining now includes everything from refined, multicourse tasting menus, to shared small plates, funky flavors, hearty entrées, and sophisticated spins on typically casual fare. As a result of this new diversity, fine dining has become an experience that is growing in access and appeal.
A common thread, or trend, among these restaurants is that they are all very hospitality oriented. They each work diligently to make sure that diners leave feeling special; that attentiveness will help these honorees continue to stand out.