Restaurant and Institutions' Top-Grossing Restaurants List Finds That Steak, Tourists Turn Profits

Restaurant and Institutions' Top-Grossing Restaurants List Finds That Steak, Tourists Turn Profits

Throughout the recession, there's been plenty of advice lobbed at New York restaurateurs who want to stay in business, but perhaps what it boils down to is this: serve comfort food to tourists and people who want to feel like they're eating in a nightclub. That's one of the more unavoidable conclusions we've come to after reading Restaurant & Institutitons' annual list of the 100 top-grossing restaurants in the country.

Thirty-one New York restaurants are on R&I's list, whose No. 1 spot was claimed by Tao Las Vegas . The now-departed Tavern on the Green took the No. 2 ranking, which is a little like winning an Oscar posthumously. Others making the top 10 are Smith & Wollensky, Buddakan, Carmine's, and Tao.

Steakhouses loom large on the list -- in addition to Smith & Wollensky's, there's Craftsteak, Sparks Steakhouse, and Quality Meats -- as do pan-Asian restaurants catering largely to the stiletto set: besides Tao and Buddakan, there's Asia de Cuba, Megu, Morimoto, and Spice Market.

All of which is kind of interesting, but what's more compelling, at least if you happen to hail from a certain part of the Midwest, is the fact that Frankenmuth, Mich., has two of the highest-earning restaurants in the country, thanks to the chicken dinners that are synonymous with the town's name. Zehnder's edged out our own Blue Fin for No. 39, while the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn came in at No. 51. The Zehnder's website proudly proclaims that its guests eat 840,000 pounds of chicken a year, which is a nightmare for opponents of factory farming, but apparently a dream come true for fans of cold, hard cash.

The list of top-grossing New York restaurants are:

2. Tavern on the Green 4. Smith & Wollensky

6. Carmine's (44th St.) 8. Tao 9. Buddakan 18. Spark's Steakhouse 19. Craftsteak 26. Del Posto 27. Balthazar 31. Junior's (Brooklyn) 37. '21' Club 40. Blue Fin 42. The Four Seasons 43. Spice Market 48. Virgil's Real Barbecue 49. Blue Water Grill 53. Rock Center Cafe 54. Junior's (Times Square) 55. Cafe Fiorello 58. Carmine's (91st Street) 61. Coffee Shop 68. Daniel 71. Trattoria Dell'Arte 81. Quality Meats 83. Redeye Grill 85. Dos Caminos (Third Ave.) 90. Asia de Cuba 91. Gotham Bar & Grill 95. Megu (Thomas St.) 97. Bryant Park Grill 100. Morimoto

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