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From #1 to #101. And introducing our second hairsplitting, new five-star ranking system. By Rob Patronite & Robin Raisfeld, New York Magazine

Tuck Shop. (All photos by Reinhard Hunger. Styling by Adriana Castro.)   

• Not to be confused with our first hairsplitting, new five-star ranking system, in which we ranked New York’s 101 best not-so-cheap restaurants in January. 

Some months back, our colleague Adam Platt bestowed New York Magazine’s first restaurant stars and has been enlightening diners and infuriating chefs ever since. For the most part, the worthy recipients of his inaugural ratings were the big-ticket, deep-pocket establishments you might expect—the Masas and the Per Ses, the Escas and the ’Cescas. But who’s to say that New York’s best cheap eats—the burgers and dogs, the noodles and ribs, that most of us, including those celestial chefs themselves, eat every day—don’t deserve the same starry treatment? Certainly not two obsessive eaters as ourselves, who, truth be told, spend most waking (and sleeping) hours joyfully reminiscing about past cheap meals and avidly planning future ones. And so it was decided that this year, instead of dedicating our annual issue to surveying the “Best New Cheap Eats of 2006” (the very best of which you’ll still find here, on page 39), we’d introduce our own set of stars—winsome red-rimmed white ones, rather than Platt’s solid reds. And to kick things off, we’d give them to our 101 favorite restaurants, ranked, one by one, in order.

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