OpenTable Announces 100 Best Restaurants in America: Arizona Nabs Four, Chicago Gets Zip (Wait, What?)
Open Table, the online restaurant reservations provider, has released its 2012 Diners Choice Award winners for the Top 100 best restaurants in the United States. And while its thumbs up for four Arizona venues, one of the country's top food cities, Chicago, doesn't get a single restaurant mention.
Micheal McManara Photography Washugyu Beef Toubanyaki (Ceramic Plate Grill) at Shin Bay
Whoa, first we were all like, "Yay!" and know we're all like, "Hey . . ."
Tallied from the combined opinions of over 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by Open Table diners this year, the award winners were selected from over 15,000 dining establishments nationwide. California has the most "Best Restaurants" on Open Table's list with 24 entries, followed by New York with 18, and Virginia with six. The two most popular cuisines were American and French.
Arizona nabbed four entries this year: Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek from chef, owner, and 2012 James Beard Best Chef Southwest finalist Kevin Binkley, Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, 2012 James Beard Award semifinalist Shin Bay in Scottsdale, and the Cottage Place Restaurant in Flagstaff.
The Huffington Post speculates the OpenTable list shows a bias toward small-town restaurants that pay to use its online reservation service, and that its inclusion of spots such as Cottage Place Restaurant in Flagstaff indicate that spots like these "are highly regarded among locals due to their historical significance rather than the quality of their cuisine."
Still, who doesn't love a good list, even if it does have a bit of controversy splattered on it. To see the full list of OpenTable's 2012 Diners' Choice Award Winners for the Top 100 Best Restaurants in the U.S., visit its website.