• Overall dining prices were only three cents more than last year, at $39.46 per dinner. That’s such a low figure that we guess they must be averaging Gray’s Papaya into it; at expensive restaurants, the average meal cost has gone up 11.6 percent a year, and you are now looking at $143.06 per head if you want to put the feedbag on in such places.
•Dom DeMarco, the Saint of Avenue J, has gotten his due again, with a top pizza score of 27 for DiFara; in fact, Brooklyn as a whole did well this year, putting Saul, Peter Luger, and Di Fara all into the top-twenty food list. The Good Fork, beloved of Alan Richman, earned itself a whopping 26 cuisine score. Former Cheap Eats champ Tanoreen earned a mighty 27.
• Queens stood up pretty well too, with both Astoria’s Trattoria L’Incontro and Woodside’s Sripraphai earning 26s for cuisine, and 25s for Sapori D’Ischia, Don Peppe, Piccola Venezia, and Taverna Kyclades. Restaurants in out-of-the-way neighborhoods get disproportionate voting, though; everyone in Ozone Park thinks Don Peppe is the best restaurant in America. But Zagat doesn’t judge; it’s only a codification of the people’s prejudices.
Zagat [Official site]
*Correction: This item originally identified Insieme as "best newcomer."