Zagat Guide 2011
Hong Hua Ranked Among "America's Top Restaurants"
This is the entire Detroit News
Article Published October 27. 2010
Diners choose 20 Detroit-area restaurants
for 2011 Zagat guide
Molly Abraham / Special to The Detroit News
Twenty Detroit-area restaurants have been
named among "America's Top Restaurants" in the
2011 edition of the influential national Zagat
guide. The slim maroon book, which rates 1,552
restaurants in 45 major cities, arrives in
The rankings represent the opinions of
ordinary diners who register on Zagat.com to
comment about the
food, decor, service and cost of restaurants
selected by editors of Zagat, one of the best
known but most mispronounced names in the world
of restaurant ratings — zuh-GAT (rhymes with
cat) is the way to say it.
"Anyone who is passionate about food can be
one of our surveyors," says Tiffany Herklots,
communications director at Zagat.com. The 2011
guide ($15.95) represents a cross-section of the
views and comments of more than 153,000 diners
who have visited the restaurants they vote for
in the past year.
Ten Detroit area restaurants achieved the top
tier ranking of 28, 27 or 26 points out of a
possible 30. That's pretty much as difficult as
batting over .400. Another 10 local restaurants
receive the designation of "other noteworthy
places." That might seem akin to coming in
second in a
beauty contest, but it's solid recognition
Bacco Ristorante in Southfield and the Lark
in West Bloomfield Township are the only local
spots to get 28 points out of the possible 30.
In the Zagat guide, Bacco fans call it "superb"
and a place to "see-and-be-seen," while the Lark
draws such comments as "still the top of the
heap" and "old-school elegant."
Bill Roberts, the only local proprietor with
not one, but two, restaurants in the top tier —
the Beverly Hills Grill in Beverly Hills, which
has made the list before, and Streetside Seafood
in Birmingham, which shows up for the first time
— says it's "thrilling" to be included.
"It's great to be acknowledged by our guests,
who are the ones who write in and get the
ratings to the guide," he says. "Our staff does
such a good job. We tweak and change and try to
make things better, and this sort of recognition
makes it all worthwhile."
Guests of Streetside Seafood quoted in the
guide call it "happening," "a neighborhoood
favorite" and say it has "fantastic seafood."
Craig Common, chef/proprietor of the Common
Grill in Chelsea, also is not a newcomer to the
Zagat ratings yet excited to be included.
"This will probably be the sixth or seventh
time, but I'm never tired of it," he says. "It's
nice to be recognized, and it's a good feather
in the cap of the staff. The guests who've
supported us all these years will be excited,
too." Comments from Common Grill patrons include
"worth the drive" and "uncommonly good."
The Zagat guide originated in 1979 as a hobby
for husband-and-wife team Tim and Nina Zagat,
but now rates hotels and resorts as well as
restaurants and has a staff of 100 in New York,
shop and international scope.
With an e-mail address and ZIP code, diners
can register at www.zagat.com to provide
feedback about restaurants from a list created
by Zagat editors in that area. There are two
ways to contribute: by participating in surveys
throughout the year, or going to a restaurant's
Zagat property page and providing feedback after
a dining experience. Restaurants with a lot of
positive feedback are included in the "America's
Top Restaurants 2011" guide, with some editorial
discretion to include restaurants that are
Zagat's Detroit top food rankings
The Lark, 6430 Farmington Road, West
Bloomfield Township. (248) 661-4466.