Zagat and Verizon Produce Guide to Downtown NYC Restaurants, Hotels, Nightlife, Shops and Attractions

"Downtown, things will be great when you're...Downtown, don't wait a minute more...Downtown, everything's waiting for you!" (Lyrics of "Downtown," sung by Petula Clark)

In an ambitious effort to bolster businesses in lower Manhattan following the Sept. 11 attacks, Zagat Survey and Verizon have teamed up to produce a unique guide to Downtown New York City, a compilation of recent Zagat Surveys focusing on the restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shops and must-see attractions south of Houston Street.  The new pocket-sized Zagat shows that Petula Clark had it right - there is a different spirit and style to Downtown, plus a world of dining, shopping, clubbing and sightseeing that could exist nowhere else but in New York.

The new guide was produced by Zagat Survey and sponsored by Verizon, one of the world's leading providers of communications services.  The 156-page book, which goes on sale this week, includes maps of all downtown areas.  It is a potent testament to the abundant world-class retail, food, lodging and tourist destinations spread across New York's Downtown, from Chinatown and Little Italy to SoHo, TriBeCa, the Lower East Side, Battery Park City and the Wall Street Financial District. 

"We want to thank Verizon for its support of this effort to bring businesses back to Downtown," said Tim Zagat, co-founder and co-chair, Zagat Survey.  "Downtowners who are fiercely loyal to their neighborhoods will appreciate this book, but we expect it to be especially helpful to visitors - including those from Uptown and other parts of the New York metropolitan area.  Our goal is to get as many people as possible to go Downtown and help revive these wonderful neighborhoods by doing what they love - eat, shop and sightsee."

"Verizon is pleased to join forces with another great brand, Zagat Survey, to produce a guide that will support revitalization of lower Manhattan," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon's Retail Market Groups.  "We hope it will be a magnet for drawing tourists and New Yorkers back Downtown in greater numbers. This is a part of the city where our company has an important presence and it's where our employees live and work, so we are deeply committed to its restoration and long-term success.  The new guide is an ideal locator for the best of everything Downtown New York has to offer."

Verizon's sponsorship of this new guide is part of the company's commitment to restore lower Manhattan and to aid the victims and families, who were affected by the events of Sept. 11.  The company and its employees have contributed more than $16 million to relief efforts and provided approximately $5 million worth of in-kind services.  The Downtown guide also includes several pages of useful information about Verizon services.

In addition, Zagat Survey donated all proceeds from the sale of 10,000 advance copies of its 2002 New York City Restaurants Survey to the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, which is aiding the families of the food service workers who died in the World Trade Center.  Mr. Zagat, who also serves as Chairman of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism and marketing agency, has been actively involved in revitalizing the city's tourism-related industries including cultural institutions, restaurants, hotels, retail and theaters.

Top Restaurants
Restaurants were selected from the Zagat 2002 New York City Restaurants Survey.  These establishments were reviewed and rated by consumers for their food, décor, service and cost on Zagat's signature 30-point scale.  The guide features lists of top restaurants in a variety of categories including Top Food (Chanterelle), Décor (Danube), Service (Chanterelle), Late Dining (Blue Ribbon Sushi), Rated Newcomers (Mark Joseph), Unrated Newcomers (AKA Café, The Harrison, Mooza, Piff, Sirocco, 27 Sunrise Seafood), Old New York (Fraunces Tavern) and Quick Fixe (Snack).  Top restaurants are also grouped by Neighborhood covering Chinatown (Canton), the Financial District (Bayard's), Little Italy (Lombardi's), Lower East Side (71 Clinton Fresh Food), SoHo (Blue Ribbon Sushi), and TriBeCa (Chanterelle).  The No. 1 restaurants Downtown by cuisine type are: American (71 Clinton Fresh Food), Chinese (Canton), French (Chanterelle), Italian (Scalini Fedeli), Japanese (Nobu), Mediterranean/Spanish (Savoy), Noodle Shops (Honmura An), Seafood (Aquagrill), Steakhouse (MarkJoseph) and Vietnamese (Nha Trang).  Restaurants are also listed by Special Feature such as Best Brunch (Montrachet), Party Sites (Vine), People Watching and Private Rooms (Nobu).  The guide also includes a list of bargain Prix Fixe lunch and dinner offerings.

Top Hotels
The guide includes a variety of Downtown hotels covering a wide range of styles and price points selected from the Zagat 2002 Top US Hotels, Resorts and Spas Survey.  Properties were rated for their rooms, service, dining and public facilities.  Some of the boutique hotels listed in the guide include the highly rated The Mercer, SoHo Grand, Tribeca Grand and the recently opened 60 Thompson.  Business oriented hotels, many of which were closed at press time, include Embassy Suites, Millenium Hilton and New York Marriott Financial Center.  Also featured are newcomers such as the Regent Wall Street, which served as a center for relief efforts post Sept. 11, and the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, whose opening was delayed by the Sept. 11 attacks and is now scheduled for early 2002.

Top Nightlife
All of the bars, clubs and lounges were selected from Zagat 2002 New York City Nightlife Survey.  Using Zagat's signature 30-point scale, surveyors rated each entry on overall appeal, decor and service, with estimates for the cost of one drink. The Survey also includes a variety of indexes covering the likes of beautiful people, biker bars, cabarets, coffee bars, cool loos, cyber scenes and more. Top Downtown Nightlife spots are listed by a variety of categories including Overall Appeal/Best Lounge (Church Lounge), Best Service/Best Bar (Milk and Honey), Coffeehouse (Café Gitane), Dance Club (Vinyl) and Music Club (Bowery Ballroom).  The top spots in each Downtown neighborhood are Financial District (Delmonico's), Little Italy (Chibi's Sake Bar), Lower East Side (Milk and Honey), SoHo (Casa La Femme) and TriBeCa (Church Lounge). 

Top Shopping
The guide features Downtown shops from Zagat 2000/2001 New York City Marketplace Survey.  Surveyors rated each entry on quality, variety and service, with cost estimates. The No. 1 spots in a variety of categories include: Breads (Sullivan Street Bakery), Cakes (Silvia Weinstock), Candy & Nuts (Leonidas), Caterers & Event Planners (Great Performances), Cheese & Dairy (DiPalo Daily), Coffee & Tea (Porto Rico Importing), Cookies (Baked Ideas), Cookware (Broadway Panhandler), Fish (Slavin, M. & Sons), Food Specialty Shops (Dean & DeLuca), Ice Cream (Ciao Bella Gelato), Meat & Poultry (Dean & DeLuca), Overall (Silvia Weinstock Cakes), Pastas (DiPalo Dairy), Pastries (Balthazar Bakery) and Prepared Foods (Sosa Borella).

The guide include a number of world renowned tourist destinations such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, TriBeCa, City Hall, Ellis Island, New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, South Street Seaport and the Statue of Liberty.  It also covers some less well known sites including the Fulton Fish Market, Guggenheim SoHo, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York City Fire Museum, Trinity Church, Staten Island Ferry, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Museum for African Art, Federal Hall National Memorial, and many more.

Note: The new Downtown guide sells for $9.95 U.S. (plus postage and handling) and is available at major bookstores, at www.zagat.com, and from Zagat Survey at 888-371-5440.

About Zagat Survey
Zagat Survey is the world's leading provider of consumer survey-based dining, lodging and leisure information with over 200,000 current surveyors. Zagat offers restaurant content in book form, on the Internet at www.zagat.com, on Palm Pilot OS, on mobile phones and on TV/radio, as well as guides covering hotels, resorts, spas, nightclubs, and a host of other entertainment and shopping resources. For more information, visit www.zagat.com.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services.  Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers.  Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world.  A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.  For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.