Foodies shaping Zagat’s relaunch
by Michael Perlman
Apr 24, 2019 | 1794 views | 0 0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim and Nina Zagat with The Infatuation co-founders Chris Stang and Andrew Steinhal.
Tim and Nina Zagat with The Infatuation co-founders Chris Stang and Andrew Steinhal.
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A unique aspect of the New York City culinary scene is making a comeback. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Zagat, the popular restaurant guide will re-launch after being on hiatus since 2016.

The 40th anniversary edition, titled “Zagat 2020 New York City Restaurants Guide,” will be available this November. Dining enthusiasts can preorder a paperback copy for $17.95.

Zagat launched the 2020 survey enabling dining enthusiasts to share their opinions on several hundreds of restaurants and influence this year’s rankings. Participants can also write-in local favorites through May 5 at survey.zagat.com.

The Infatuation was founded in 2009 with the mission of bringing “the most honest and trustworthy opinions on where to eat around the world.” In March 2018, The Infatuation acquired Zagat from Google with the goal of rebuilding the brand and returning it to its user-generated roots while focusing on a new tech platform.

“Zagat is a legendary brand, and the book is such an important part of its history,” said Michael Sinatra, vice president of Communications for The Infatuation. “From the moment we acquired the brand, it felt important that we bring the book back. Zagat was actually an early version of user-generated content before social media even existed, giving a voice to a vast community of those who dined out and wanted to share their knowledge.”

Sinatra called restaurants and dining a significant aspect of “the New York City experience.”

“So many cultures worldwide are represented through New York City’s restaurants and neighborhoods, and Zagat plays an important role in getting people out to explore restaurants in all five boroughs,” he said.

“In combination for what we’re doing editorially at The Infatuation, we think it’s a tremendous pairing to ensure the community has the best resources for making decisions about the best places to eat,” he added.

The 14,000-member Facebook group “Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens – Our Communities” conducted its own poll on which local restaurants should be included in Zagat 2020?”

The top picks were Eddie’s Sweet Shop, London Lennie’s, Knish Nosh, La Boulangerie, Dee’s, Nick’s Pizza, and Roast n Co. Newcomers including Mezze Kosher Mediterranean & Pizza and Oba Mediterranean Gyro & Grill also made the cut

Last October, EEEEEATSCON debuted at Forest Hills Stadium, featuring a highly curated group of restaurants and all-day panels by industry pioneers and leaders. It will return this year on October 5 and 6.

The “Origin Stories” panel offered insight on brand-building and valuing community, and featured Zagat husband and wife duo Tim and Nina Zagat, along with The Infatuation co-founders Chris Stang and Andrew Steinhal.

“We never voted on restaurants in our years of putting out guides. We are asked what is our favorite restaurant is, but it’s what’s good for you on a particular occasion.” Nina Zagat explained,

“The core principle was listening to people and having them share their experiences,” said Nina at the time. “Going out to eat is a great joy in life, and it’s more fun when you read about a place and you get to see all the little perks.”

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