Amuse-BOUCHE 

Despite the multiple caveats the first listing requires — Azuca for Best Latin/South American — the newly published Where the Locals Eat offers a surprisingly accurate recommendation or two for a 50-city dining guide assembled from afar via internet surveys and website research. L’Etoile makes the cut (Best French), as does Paesanos (proof that us locals often run on sentiment and memories), but there are also enough missteps to give you pause. La Fonda on Main gets the nod for Best Mexican, for instance, and no real distinction is made between Mex and Tex-Mex. According to editor Rachel Lawson (who sincerely wants to know how they can improve the guide), publisher Magellan wasn’t sure that division would fly, more evidence that nothing replaces footwork — which SA may yet get. Where the Locals Eat is accompanied by an online version (wherethelocalseat.com), where you can register your feedback, and the next big step for the company is a web 2.0 version that will combine e-vite, Open Table, and ratings functions to create a restaurant review and reservations site. But Magellan’s also interested in creating targeted Locals dining guides for cities they perceive as underserved, and SA’s on an informal shortlist.


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