Zagat Releases 2006 Europe’s Top Restaurants Guide

New Guide Includes 1,372 Restaurants and 104 Cuisines in 27 Cities; Italian, French and Mediterranean Win, Place and Show; Moscow’s Burgeoning Dining Scene Newly Added

NEW YORK, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Zagat Survey today released its 2006 Europe’s Top Restaurants guide. The new edition contains ratings and reviews for 1,372 restaurants in 27 major European cities, based on the opinions of over 12,000 avid restaurant-goers. From Amsterdam to Zurich, Zagat surveyor’s dined out on nearly 2.3 million meals in the process of making the guide. And with all new ratings and reviews, plus new cities and 104 distinct cuisines and two-dozen more cuisines than in the last edition, this year’s guide is bigger and better than ever before.

“Some people go to Europe to shop, others to see the sights and some for business, but regardless of why you’re there, you’ve got to eat,” said Tim Zagat, co-founder and CEO of Zagat Survey. “Why not let 12,000 savvy diners help you decide where to go?”

Diversity of Tastes: The 2006 guide to Europe’s Top Restaurants contains lists for Top Food, Most Popular and other Noteworthy Places for every major city in Europe. Although the majority of leading restaurants in any given city are focused on that country’s national cuisine, there is also plenty of diversity in the listings. Among the many combinations, for example are Tuscan in Moscow, Thai in Milan, Sushi in Madrid, Greek in Warsaw and an American Steakhouse in Dublin. That said, the survey (which includes a variety of additional data from surveyors), shows a clear preference for Italian food, which 38% say is their favorite cuisine. French and Mediterranean follow with 26% and 13% respectively. Asian is next at 10%.

Service: Among the other findings in the guide, surveyors cite Italy as the country with the friendliest servers, with Spain and Ireland coming in second and third. And with only 33% of surveyors citing service as their top restaurant complaint (compared to 72% in the United States), it’s clear that wait staff in the States can learn something by paying attention to their European counterparts.

Smoking: On the other hand, with smoking considered the number 1 dining irritant by 49% of respondents, European restaurateurs might want to look back across the Pond to their U.S. counterparts, who have found that running smoke-free establishments is good for their businesses. Restaurant smoking bans in Europe began in Ireland in 2004 and are currently under consideration in Italy, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. Fully 65% of surveyors say smoking should be banned vs. 6% who prefer it not be restricted.

“Few things beat eating your way through way Europe,” said Nina Zagat, co-founder of Zagat Survey. “But if you’re going to throw caution, and your waistline, to the wind, you ought to be sure you’re dining at the best places in town. With our European reviews available in books, PDAs and on the internet, that’s getting easier and easier to do.”

For a list of the top rated restaurants by Food and Popularity in each of the 27 cities, please contact Tiffany Barbalato at tbarbalato@zagat.com.

About Zagat Survey, LLC

Zagat Survey is the world’s leading provider of consumer survey-based leisure content. With more than 250,000 surveyors, Zagat Survey rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories. Zagat content is available in print, on the Web, on the Palm and Pocket PC operating systems, on mobile phones, and on TV. For more information, visit zagat.com.

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