As the end of the year draws near, the lists are coming out, with the latest being a big "best restaurant" list from a popular foodie website. Yelp? No, not Yelp. So sorry. The site is OpenTable, the San Francisco-based online reservation site, and the list is the "100 Best Restaurants in America for 2017."
The winners were determined via a popular vote, reflecting the opinions of users of the website. "Our list of honorees is based on an analysis of 12,000,000+ reviews of more than 26,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners," the statement says.
The majority of winners in New York and Los Angeles. Lists like this often have a coastal bias — but even factoring that in, it's still surprising that Texas has only five restaurants on the list. Perhaps more surprising, four are from Dallas. Where are Austin and Houston at?
The list is generated from diner reviews collected between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum "overall" score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant's average rating in the "overall" category.
Enough preamble. The four Dallas restaurants are:
- Le Bilboquet, the French spot in Knox Henderson for ladies who lunch
- Neighborhood Services, the beloved Dallas chain from chef Nick Badovinus
- Shinsei, the pan-Asian restaurant near Inwood Village
- Uchi, the Asian sushi chain from Austin
The fifth Texas restaurant on the list is Galveston eatery Rudy & Paco, featuring grilled seafood and steak with a South and Central American sabor.
If it seems odd to see Uchi Dallas on the list - IE, why not the original Uchi in Austin vs. the Dallas spinoff? - there are other factors at play: namely, how many residents in a city use OpenTable. Dallas is more of an online reservation-making and restaurant-evaluating town than the other major cities in Texas. Yay, Dallas wins at something.
OpenTable describes the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2017 as "consistently putting out delicious dishes, providing impeccable service, and paying attention to every detail to orchestrate one-of-a-kind dining experiences time and again."