OpenTable Lists 100 Best Restaurants; Norman's Makes the Grade

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Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton has made the OpenTable list of 100 Best Restaurants in the world, the only Central Florida restaurant to do so, and only one of two in Florida. NAOE, the Japanese and sushi restaurant on Brickell Key Drive in Miami, was the other.

The list, which was published by Huffington Post, is presented alphabetically, and little about the curation of the list is revealed, though ostensively they are voted on by diners. Obviously, the restaurants all use OpenTable, the online reservation system pioneer.

(Ironically, I disabled the OpenTable link on this site only yesterday. OT requires payment from restaurants for each one of the reservations it processes. The company pays websites like mine a fee -- one that isn’t described up front -- if 100 people make a reservation through the site each month. Never saw a payment, and having the logo there just amounted to free advertising for OpenTable.)

Norman's, the fine dining restaurant at the Grande Lakes Resort owned by celebrity chef Norman Van Aken, is certaily list worthy. Some other locals I'd like to see there, too.

But you want to know more about the list.

California had the most; New York second. I would have guessed those two states would be reversed. Lots of heavyweights in the group: Per Se, French Laundry, Bouley, Gramercy Tavern, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges -- those are just some of the restaurants I’ve been to. Oh, and I’ve been to the Capital Grille, too, but not the ones in Kansas City and Minneapolis that were on the list. 

Capital Grille is very nice -- I’m a big fan of the one here, which is glaringly absent from the list. But having a chain restaurant represented next to the likes of those listed above, well...

It’s similar to what happened with the just-released Zagat Orlando City Guide, which listed the estimable Cress next to the questionable Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar as two of the top restaurants for food in town (the town being DeLand in Cress’ case).

So, here’s the OpenTable list of 100 Best Restaurants. Please have a grain of salt handy.

How many of the restaurants have you been to? Who else should be on it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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