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The new Zagat is out: The No. 1-rated restaurant in Houston is still ...

The new Zagat is out: The No. 1-rated restaurant in Houston is still ...

Zagat, the "illustrious" "guide" fond of "quotation overkill" has just released it's picks for America's Best Restaurants 2011, a nationwide guidebook. Houston had a dozen entries, with the fine dining faves you'd expect and a few less exalted newcomers.

Tops in food is west Houston's ode to Provence, Le Mistral, with a score of 28 out of 30. Also earning a 28 were Thai legend Kanomwan, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and Mark's American Cuisine. Though Le Mistral, Kanonwan, Pappas Bros. and Mark's all earned 28s, Le Mistral was singled out by Zagat as the best food in Houston. Le Mistral was also No. 1 for food in Zagat's 2010 Texas restaurant guide.

Coming in just underneath with a food score of 27 for Houston in America's Best Restaurants 2011 were Catalan, Damian's, Humble's Chez Nous, Masraff's, Glass Wall and Houston newcomer Eddie V's.

Tony's earned a 27 along with the top spot in decor and service, and Da Marco also earned a 27, while being named the most popular restaurant in Houston in addition.

The restaurant scores haven't changed since Zagat completed their 2010 Texas guide in March, but Zagat also noted that people are continuing to cut back on dining out, either going out less often or spending less on a meal by skipping drinks, appetizers or dessert. Houston seems to be bucking this trend though. Back in March, Zagat ranked us as the city that eats out the most.

But despite the slew of gourmet casual openings of late, Zagat posits that the latest trend is full-on luxury, naming new fine dining spots Valentino and Bistro Alex in Houston as examples.

Places_Food_Le Mistral Restaurant
According to the Zagat Guide, Le Mistral has the best food in Houston. Photo by Shannon O'Hara
News_Kanomwan_Thai food_restaurant
Kanomwan, a no-frills favorite for decades, earned some of the highest marks for food with a 28.
Places-Food-Mark's American Cuisine interior
Mark's American Cuisine Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Places-Food-Pappas Bros. exterior day
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Photo by Barbara Kuntz
Tony's scored a 27 for food and got the highest scores in Houston for service and decor. Chris Conyers
Places-Eat-Da Marco-exterior-sign-1
Da Marco was named most popular in Houston in addition to scoring a 27.