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Ramsay tops Michelin with Zagat jackpot

Gordon Ramsay has hit the jackpot in New York City.

The day after Michelin’s third New York guide announced that it had given Ramsay’s restaurant two out of a possible three stars, the influential Zagat Survey for 2008 gave it a rave review.

The restaurant, opened in late 2006, is called Gordon Ramsay at the London – so named because it is found in The London NYC Hotel in midtown.

Stylistically relying on quoted remarks from contributors, the just-released 2008 Zagat said that ‘crusty TV chef’ Ramsay ‘leaves the terror in the kitchen’ in his ‘sublime New French’ restaurant, which offers ‘meticulously prepared’ solely prix-fixe cuisine containing flavors that are ‘complex and layered.’ The service is described as ‘flawless without being stuffy.’

The ‘understated’ ‘excellence,’ Zagat says, is ‘not for the faint of pocketbook.’

New Yorkers don’t pay Ramsay’s steep prices because of his supposed shock value. His famed foul remarks and bleeped programs often seem puerile to many Americans, who see him as a Johnny-come-lately to the hoary practice of shocking the bourgeoisie. In traffic-clogged midtown, frustrated truck drivers who deliver food to his restaurant hurl the same language every five minutes.

Zagat puts Ramsay into its ‘key newcomers’ category. This entry may prove more important for diners than the two stars in Michelin’s New York book.

No matter how heavily out-of-towners buy the Michelin, many in New York’s food-and-wine community seem indifferent, if not hostile, to it, possibly because of critical gaffes in the first edition.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that New Yorkers resent what they feel to be French presumptuousness and a lack of keen judgment in Michelin’s undercover inspectors.

As someone who signed his name Jonas in a posting on The New York Times’s Internet site said: ‘Only French restaurants make the 3-star cut, how unsurprising!’

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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