Food: Palate Polls

An empire of eatery reviews

The idea was born -- and why not? -- at the regular monthly dinner of a batch of New York City foodies. Someone complained about how hard it was, despite all the magazine and newspaper reviews, to find a really good restaurant. Eugene ("Tim") Zagat, a lawyer for Gulf & Western, had a bright idea: Why not survey the group's eaterygoing friends and circulate a newsletter listing their favorites? In a moment of Bordeaux-induced bravado, Zagat volunteered to organize the project.

Talk about small acorns and mighty oaks. Requests for Zagat's photocopied survey soon grew to the point that his wife...

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