Zagat published its latest survey of America’s top restaurants last week. Twenty local eateries made the cut, all of which have been covered in some form or fashion by CityBeat’s dedicated dining team.
Jean-Robert/Pigall’s took the crown as the top local restaurant, compiling a food score of 29 out of 30. The review blurb, which features comments from Zagat’s various contributors, gushed, “Jean-Robert de Cavel is the Zeus of Cincinnati restaurateurs, and this is his Mt. Olympus.”
Daveed’s at 934, chef/co-owner David Cook’s “cutting-edge” Mount Adams “gem,” came in a close second, nabbing a 28 rating. Nicola’s, an Italian oasis in Over-the-Rhine known for its “exquisite homemade pastas,” scored a 27, as did Jeff Ruby’s longtime East Side fixture The Precinct and David Falk’s Boca. Two more Ruby joints — Carlo & Johnny and Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse — also fared well.
Two new restaurants made the cut, both of which sprouted up out of the Fountain Square renovation: David Falk’s Nada and Via Vite, which is another creation from Nicola’s Cristian Pietoso.Perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of local mini-chain Dewey’s Pizza, the lone “downscale” restaurant, which was praised for its “imaginative, tasty combinations" and "tantalizing salads."
Sorry, Maija, Mac’s Pizza & Pub was nowhere to be found. Likewise, several of my local favorites — lower-profile treasures like Javier’s, Thai Namtip and Riverside Korean — were also missing in action.