A couple weeks back, I posted an item complained about the confusing and misleading information to be found in the "Historic Places" list at the back of the New York City Zagat's restaurant guide.
Well, apparently there's someone at the guide's headquarters who spends their time typing "Zagat's" into Google and seeing what comes up, because soon after I received an e-mail from a Zagat's official. It was a most gracious e-mail, I must say, given the piss and vinegar I put into my post. My beef was mainly that Zagat's listed not just old restaurants but restaurants in old buildings, which made no sense to me. If I open a chow house in the old Custom House tomorrow, that does not make my business a "Historic Place."
Anyway, the helpful man from Zagat's pointed out that the matters I had griped about were addressed in the 2008 edition of the guide, now out on the stands. I picked up a copy and right he was. No longer is the Heartland Brewery given pride of place next to Delmonico's. The list still has a few entries that are there simply because the eatery's address is ancient (e.g. The Morgan got it because it's in the Morgan Library), but otherwise it's much more true to purpose. Well done, Zagat's.
As a side note, the 1880s were a red-letter decade for New York eating. In that ten-year span P.J. Clarke's, Keens, Peter Luger and Katz's Deli opened their doors. Yum.