The ultra-elite included:
1. Le Bernardin, New York City
4. Eleven Madison Park, New York City
7. Per Se, New York City
8. Momofuku Ssäm, New York City
9. Gramercy Tavern, New York City
About Le Bernadin, the daily meal said, "Think Le Bernardin and you think accolades: Michelin, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation. Is it a little stuffy? Sure... But with a super sleek renovation recently completed and a lengthy new lease, this iconic restaurant isn't going anywhere. And if cooking fish well is an art, then chef Eric Ripert is a Michelangelo; his contemporary French touch has led some to call his creations the world's best seafood."
Not far behind the top tier were seven more New York eateries, which dominated the next ten. These included:
11. L'Atelier de Joël Robouchon, New York City
13. Blue Hill Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
14. Babbo, New York City
16. Jean Georges, New York City
17. ABC Kitchen, New York City
18. Peter Luger, Brooklyn, N.Y.
19. Daniel, New York City
The Daily Meal drew upon nominations from judges comprised primarily of restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and assorted bloggers, from across the country, the publication's own nominations, and then allowed participants to vote for their favorites. The voting was based on cuisine, region, and such factors as formality, level of "buzz," and price range. Restaurants ranged from neighborhood spots and avant-garde restaurants to iconic casual establishments. Each restaurant had the chance to be voted on three times during the survey. Finally, the percentage scores from each category were averaged to arrive at the final ranking.
From the March 12, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.