Zagat: We Invented Crowdsourced Citizen Journalism

Maureen O'Connor · 04/21/10 01:10PM

Zagat's strategy for its losing battle against foodie blogs and user-generated restaurant review sites: Claiming to be kindreds. Nina Zagat says the Zagat Survey was crowd-sourcing before it was cool. Yelp : Zagat :: Charles Darwin :: Alfred Wallace Russel. Who? Exactly. [HuffPo]

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/12/09 06:44AM

Billionaire financier George Soros turns 79 today. Nina Zagat is turning 67. Writer/comedian Michael Ian Black is 38. The tannest man in Hollywood, George Hamilton, is turning 70. Evelyn Lauder, philanthropist, social staple, and wife of Leonard, is 73. Roger Hodge, the editor of Harper's, is turning 42. NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman is 61. Legendary screenwriter William Goldman is turning 78. Casey Affleck is 34. Interiors man Jeffrey Beers is turning 53. Pete Sampras is 38. Scandal-plagued football player Plaxico Burress is turning 32. Publishing heir Robert Ziff is 43. Rebecca Gayheart is turning 38. Actress Dominique Swain is 29. And the rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot turns 46 today.

The Friday Party Report

cityfile · 06/12/09 03:01PM

The Four Seasons celebrated its 50th anniversary last night and a predictably large crowd of media personalities, politicos, and powerbrokers turned out for the occasion. Just a few of the people on hand to celebrate the event with co-owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder (left, Erin Fetherston): Barry Diller, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Mort Zuckerman, Ray and Veronica Kelly, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., David and Joyce Dinkins, Henry Kissinger, Aby and Samantha Rosen, Dolly Lenz, Tim and Nina Zagat, Steve Schwarzman, Fern Mallis, Jay McInerney, Jeffrey and Linda Chodorow, Steve Newhouse and Gina Sanders, Albert Maysles, Ruth Reichl, Robert Burke, Linda Fargo, Star Jones and Herb Wilson, Thom Browne, Don Marron, Drew Nieporent, John Gutfreund, Chuck Scarborough, Cindi Leive and Howard Bernstein, Terry Allen Kramer, Marjorie Gubelmann, Marina Rust Connor, and Salman Rushdie and girlfriend Pia Glenn. [PMc, Wireimage, NYO, Paper]

Eating & Drinking: Thursday Edition

cityfile · 03/12/09 02:40PM

• Rumor has it Iacopo Falai is in "early talks" to open up a space inside Andre Balazs's new Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district. [Eater]
• Chocolate Bar will reopen in a new West Village location on April 28. [NYO]
• The price of certain French cheeses quadruples on March 22. Ouch! [TONY]
Tim and Nina Zagat are launching a new food website. And The Atlantic is launching a new food "channel" tomorrow. [GS, AdAge]
• Korean food is taking over America, apparently. [WSJ]
• Sign 'o the times: Arby's first Brooklyn outpost is opening in the landmarked space formerly occupied by steakhouse Gage & Tollner. [NYDN]
• Chefs Daniel Boulud, Floyd Cardoz, and Marco Canora discuss the biz. [GS]
• Matt Oliver, doorman at M2 and brunch at Merkato 55, chats nightlife. [BB]
Bourdain on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: "It's a circus of cruelty, like shooting fish in a barrel with a cut-down 12-gauge shotgun. There's no cooking. It's just a bunch of dimwits—the lame, the halt and the delusional." [EMD]

ABC Hunts for Oscar Sponsors, Project Runway's Return

cityfile · 02/16/09 12:22PM

• ABC is scrambling to find advertisers for the Oscars. [AdWeek]
• The New York Times takes a delicate look at Carlos Slim Helú today, the media mogul who also happens to have bailed out the paper last month. [NYT]
• Sam Donaldson is retiring from ABC News next week. [WP]
Tina Brown's advice to young journalism students: Go to India. [HuffPo]
BlackBook is cutting staff and reducing its frequency to stay afloat. [P6]
Tim and Nina Zagat are launching a Zagat guide for doctors. [NYT]
Friday the 13th was No. 1 at the box office this weekend. [THR]
• Alfred A. Knopf Jr. died over the weekend at the age of 90. [NYT]
Project Runway may return to the air later this year. [WWD]

John Dory's Debut, Election Night Specials

cityfile · 10/30/08 02:44PM

♦ John Dory, the Brit-themed seafood shack by April Bloomfield, Ken Friedman, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, looks like it's finally opening, possibly as soon as Saturday night. [TONY, Metromix, Eater]
♦ A look inside Center Cut, Jeffrey Chodorow's new restaurant inside the Empire Hotel. [Eater]
♦ Craftsteak and Thom Bar have a few specials in store for election night. [GS]
♦ Momofuku Ssam Bar will cater your Thanksgiving dinner with pork butt and potato puree. [The Feedbag]
♦ If it's any consolation, Tim and Nina Zagat don't think the financial crisis will do much damage to the city's restaurant economy. [WSJ]

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/12/08 06:00AM

Billionaire financier George Soros turns 78 today. Hope there's a big party planned (with plenty of champagne on hand for Alex.) Also celebrating today: Evelyn Lauder, philanthropist, socialite, and the wife of Leonard, celebrates her 72nd. Civil rights lawyer Donna Lieberman is 60. Harper's editor Roger Hodge will be 41. Screenwriter William Goldman is 77. Casey Affleck is 33. Football star Plaxico Burress turns 31. Publishing heir Robert Ziff is 42. Jeffrey Beers, the restaurant designer behind China Grill and Japonais, turns 52. Nina Zagat celebrates her 66th today. And both Pete Sampras and actress Rebecca Gayheart are turning 37.

Reservations Are No Longer Being Accepted

cityfile · 06/06/08 08:36AM

Tim and Nina Zagat, proprietors of the "useful" but "decliningly relevant" maroon guidebooks to restaurants and "every other kind of establishment under the sun," have "dejectedly" abandoned their "aggressive" effort to sell their company. Despite "modest" early interest from bidders like IAC, CBS, and Bruce Wasserstein, no "sucker" ended up biting at the Zagats' "grossly inflated" price tag of $200 million. [NYT]

Nina Zagat

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:26PM

With her husband Tim, Nina Zagat is co-founder of the guidebook series that bears her last name.