Dip into the 1990 Zagat Guide—if you can find a copy—and you'll discover that 70 percent of the restaurants that received scores of 26 or 27 for food were dyed-in-the-wool French. The list famously included Lutéce, La Cote Basque, and Lafayette, but by the 2008 edition, those old warhorses had been sent to the glue factory, and the proportion of top-tier French restaurants had dwindled to 30 percent. Many of the places that remained, such as Chanterelle, were cramming pan-Mediterranean elements onto their menus, while our most notorious French chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, often seemed more... More >>>