Grand Valley restaurants proposed for inclusion in Zagat dining guide

Phil Castle, The Business Times: 

Up to 11 Grand Valley restaurants could be included in a what’s considered an influential “Bible” of dining guides.

Jodi Niernberg

Online voting will continue through May 6 to determine whether or not the restaurants will be included in a new Colorado-specific Zagat dining guide.

The implications for the restaurants as well as tourism in the Grand Valley are significant, said Jodi Niernberg, co-owner along with her husband Josh, of Bin 707 Foodbar in downtown Grand Junction. “It could be a real large tourism attractor,” she said.

Bin 707 joins eight other Grand Junction restaurants under consideration for inclusion in the new guide: 626 on Rood, Dream Café, Hyeongje Korean Restaurant, Il Bistro Italiano, Le Rouge Restaurant & Piano Bar, No Coast Sushi, Pablo’s Pizza and the Winery. The list also includes the Hot Tomato Café & Pizzeria in Fruita and Inaris Bistro in Palisade.

No Grand Valley restaurants initially were proposed for the Colorado guide. But Jodi Niernberg said online lobbying through a blog enlisted the help of a Denver food critic editing the guide to include the 11 restaurants.

Founded in 1979, Zagat Survey has become a leading provider of information about where to eat, drink, stay and play worldwide. Ratings and reviews are based on the opinions of hundreds of thousands of consumers with personal experiences at the restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and attractions they’ve patronized.

Niernberg said many people consider Zagat a “food Bible” of where to dine. While the Grand Valley already has developed a reputation for its wine industry, including local restaurants in the Colorado guide would help convince people traveling to or through the area to stay a little longer to experience dining at the restaurants themselves, she said.

  Voting for Colorado restaurants is under way on the Web site located at The Grand Valley restaurants are included in an alphabetical listing, but also can be found by browsing under the listings for ski areas.