America's top 11 restaurants

Find out what American gourmet eateries received top honours from the Zagat gods.

01 Feb 2008

Reviewers for the Zagat 2008 America's Top Restaurants Dining Journal awarded 11 eateries 29 out of 30 possible points on a scale covering food, decor, cost and service.

Bacchanalia, Atlanta
Bacchanalia is one of Atlanta's most celebrated restaurants featuring contemporary American cuisine from chef and owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The husband and wife team has won many awards including the coveted James Beard Best Chef in the Southeast. It has also been rated by the Zagat's Guide as the number one restaurant in the city for the past seven years.

Barrington's, Charlotte
This cosy bistro style restaurant seats up to 45 people. The food is upscale American with a homey twist. The restaurant has achieved numerous awards and accolades; most notably it received four out of the four stars in the Charlotte Observer and was named "Tops for food in Charlotte" in the ZAGAT'S 2003-2004-2005: Top Restaurants in America Guide.

Carlos', Highland Park close to Chicago
Carlos' has been serving contemporary French cuisine for over 25 years. Owner Carlos Nieto keeps customers coming back with a constantly changing menu and a variety of special offers. In any given week, patrons can sample incredible culinary diversity based on the special and unusual ingredients.

Jean-Robert at Pigall's, Cincinnati
Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel serves inventive and high-quality food that has patrons coming back for more. De Cavel, reinvigorated the silvery Pigall's with fresh, sophisticated décor as well as expert cooking.

Thomas Henkelmann, Greenwich
Situated in a completely renovated eighteenth-century farmhouse this German-born chef delivers classic French cuisine is a flawless environment. Henkelmann's restaurant has received the highly-respected, 4-star Mobil Award in 2001 and recently joined the ranks of the prestigious Relais & Charteaux group along with receiving the highest rating by Zagat.

The French Room, Dallas
The French Room, has earned Gourmet magazine's top ranking for the Dallas/Fort Worth region for three consecutive years. The menu feature fresh seasonal ingredients and a wine list that recently earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Weaver, The French Room has taken classic techniques and adapted them to ever-evolving American tastes.

Sanford, Milwaukee
Once Sanford D'Amato opened his restaurant in his father's former grocery the accolades began to fly in. But despite enormous praise for D'Amato and his crew, there are no pretensions at this sleek, comfortable restaurant where the food blends flavours from Asia, Italy and the Mediterranean.

Restaurant Nicholas, New Jersey
Nicholas and Melissa Harary, whose distinguished credentials (he, an alumnus of the CIA and former sommelier at New York City's famed Jean-Georges; she, a protégé of renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer), have created a civilised and cosmopolitan dining experience specifically designed to appeal to the adventurous and sophisticated of palate.

Gary Danko, San Francisco
Gary Danko is one of the Bay Area's most acclaimed chefs. Along with a classy but comfortable ambience, delicious food and a 1,800-bottle wine list, the restaurant has what many consider the best service in the city.

The Inn at Little Washington, Washington
Under the guidance of proprietor and head chef Patrick O'Connell the restaurant has been continually rated number one in all categories of Zagat's Washington DC restaurant survey for the past 14 years. The award winning, 14,000 bottle wine cellar, is also not too shabby.

Xaviar's at Piermont, New York
This 40 seat, intimate dining room is recognised as the only restaurant north of Manhattan to have received a Four Star "Extraordinary" rating from the New York Times. In addition, Xaviar's is the only restaurant in the Tri State area with a "29" food rating from the Zagat's Survey. Peter Xavier Kelly offers cuisine inspired by his Contemporary American interpretations.

Sources:, and

- Food24


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