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The Eater Index, 9/25/07

Today marks the launch of the Eater Index, our meta-rating of the city's most important new restaurants. With close to a dozen reliable critics filing weekly reports in New York, we felt it was time to make sense of it all with an aggregate (dare we say absolute?) rating metric. In the right-hand column of the table below, you'll see a column labeled EI—the Eater Index. That number, based on a 0-100 scale, represents an average of all the critics in the table who have reviewed the venue to date. More explanation and analysis after the jump, but now, let's give this baby a test-drive.

Soto 74 -- -- 85 93 76 84 -- 99 85
Centro Vinoteca -- -- -- 82 -- -- -- -- 69 76
Tailor -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 55 61 58
Setagaya -- -- -- -- -- 50 67 -- 48 55
Rayuela 35 -- 23 64 -- 49 -- -- 55 45
Gemma -- -- 30 30 -- -- -- -- 65 42
Wakiya -- 60 12 23 -- -- 65 -- 33 39
Monkey Bar 26 -- -- -- 2 -- href="">34 -- -- 21

FB = Frank Bruni [NYT], SC = Steve Cuozzo [NYP], AP = Adam Platt [NYM], RG = Danyelle Freeman [NYDN], AR = Alan Richman [Bloomberg], PA = Paul Adams [NYS], RL = Randall Lane [TONY], NJ = Marc Shepherd [NY Journal], WC = Wild Card, EI = Eater Index

The critics included in the Eater Index were picked for somewhat obvious reasons, but here's a brief explanation of our thinking. First, anyone filing for a major print publication in New York gets a slot. Then, we also reserve one slot for a pure food blogger, currently Marc Shepherd, and a wild card entry. The wild card slot is where Eater gets to weigh-in from time to time, but more often, we'll tap other important voices in New York, such as the Insatiable Critic Gael Greene and the StrongBuzz's Andrea Strong.

The numerical ratings, assigned by Eater, are based in large part on each of the critics' ratings scales. For example, Frank Bruni rates on a four star system, which translates numerically as follows:

Zero Stars: 0-24 points
One Star: 25-49
Two Stars: 50-74
Three Stars: 75-99
Four Stars: 100
We'll take some liberty within these determined ranges, depending on the color commentary in a given review, but, ultimately, we are at the mercy of the critics, which is how it should be. As for the color coding, with a hat tip to Metacritic, it's like this:
EI of 61 or better: green
EI of 40-60: yellow
EI of 39 or below: red
And there you have it, friends. Study this graph well, then pick a place for dinner. (Hat tip to Soto for coming out on top of this first survey with a very respectable 85.1 Eater Index score.) The Eater Index will be updated as needed, perhaps several times a week. Meantime, do let us know your thoughts.