- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) | London, Paris, New York City … Newark?

New Jersey’s largest city is set to join that group as the subject of a Zagat restaurant guide due to be published by the end of the year.

Newark will join a list of more than 100 other guides in Zagat’s worldwide empire of consumer reviews. The company annually sells more than 600,000 of its New York City restaurant guides alone.

“This family has become an international brand, and to have them come to Newark is almost another stamp of having made it,” Mayor Cory A. Booker said Monday at the official announcement of the Newark Zagat guide.

The 16-page, wallet-sized guide, titled “Spotlight on Newark Restaurants,” will be available at the Prudential Center and in local hotels and businesses.

It will feature reviews of 34 restaurants, a fold-out map and additional information about the city’s attractions.

The launch was hosted by 60 Park Place Grill, a new restaurant and sports bar near the Prudential Center arena, which recently marked its first year of operation.

The economic stimulus provided by the arena has been responsible for more than a half-dozen restaurant openings in downtown Newark, Deputy Mayor Stefan Pryor said.

Mr. Booker said he had the idea of attracting Zagat’s to Newark during his first year in office.

The project received a boost from the recently created Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is dovetailing it with the city’s inaugural Restaurant Week from Nov. 3 to 13.

“Mayor Booker asked us to do it, and I realized we should have done it earlier,” co-founder Tim Zagat said. “We really look for special restaurants that you can’t find in your hometown, and Newark is no different.”

Mr. Zagat said he plans to visit many of Newark’s restaurants himself, but will rely on the standard formula of reviews written by people who like to dine out and describe the experience.

He said the company already has a database of about 350,000 reviewers, of which 20,000 live in northern New Jersey.

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