The annual Zagat Survey results have arrived for 2015, with a surprise in store: for the first time in five years, Gary Danko is not in the #1 slot. That honor instead goes to Kokkari Estiatorio, which boasts a knockout rating of 29 for food, 28 for service, and 28 for decor. Considering the average check for one at Kokkari is $65, half of the price of #2 Danko ($117) and a quarter of the price of #3 Quince ($247), that's a big achievement. Acquerello and Boulevard round out the top five for this year.
Asked for the secret of Kokkari's success, managing partner Paul Kirby offered a surprising answer: "Consistency in food and service is certainly a factor, but consistency in staff is a pretty big—often overlooked—factor. Many of our current staff (and management) have been with us from opening day, and quite a few have been employed with us more than 10 years. Seeing familiar faces in the restaurant and being recognized as a return or frequent guest is a key element to our success."
Further down the list, new restaurants often have a hard time making it to the upper echelons of Zagat's popularity contest in their first year, but one surprise spot managed a slot: 4505 Burgers & BBQ, which only opened in May but clocks in at a very respectable #27. Loló's new location also bumped it to the tail end of the list, at #48, and some year-old spots like B. Patisserie (#19) and Coqueta (#50) also made the cut. We'll have more on the best food and best decor winners as they're announced.
Here's the Zagat top ten:
1. Kokkari Estiatorio
2. Gary Danko
6. La Folie
10. Swan Oyster Depot