New York's one drawback as a restaurant city has long been what Joni Mitchell called the craziness that comes from too much choice. Since the dominant guidebook, the Zagat Survey, is really more of a gazetteer, anyone setting out to eat had no serious way to narrow the more than 17,000 options spread out over five boroughs.
Help may be on the way in November, when the Michelin Red Guide finally branches out to the United States with a New York City edition. Unlike Zagat, it promises to cull the mediocre to bad restaurants and hand out stars for quality in rating about 550 establishments. Even jaded Manhattanites are looking forward to reading which restaurants in Staten Island might be "worth a special journey," to use Michelin's famous accolade.