By Alan Henry
Wine is often perceived as a stuffy, fussy thing, but it doesn't have to be. Sure, different flavors may go better with different foods, but in the end everyone's palate is different, and there's no reason you need to be a sommelier-in-training to order a decent wine with your meal. It's easier than you think, and we sat down with a wine expert and educator to come up with some tricks you can take with you to the restaurant.

By Wayne Elise
Let’s face it, we want to impress people. I want to impress you right now. And no matter how long I meditate it’s hard to get far from my ego-driven Me-machine. “Please, like me!” See. Impossible.

But it’s okay to want to excite and impress people. This weakness is just part of our human condition. It’s why we have Facebook. It’s why I stick pictures of my girlfriend on my blog: www.wayneelise.com We just can’t out-Zen it.

The challenge for us is to be exciting while not overstepping our truth-bond with other people. We want to be known as interesting but also TRUTHFUL.

Many people are frankly, out there, in the field, lying. Not you of course. But people. That’s too bad. However, when the lights start flashing and we see that dude with the 70′s collar and gold chains hauling around a ten it’s easy for even normally law-abiding people such as you and me to become seduced by the idea of pumping up our reality. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard otherwise honest guys claim to have seen three strippers in a hair-pulling fight outside a bar when indeed, there were no strippers and no fight.

Oct 03, 2012 @ 4:28 PM Zagat has released its 2013 NYC Restaurant Survey, which covers a record 2,120 restaurants spread across New York City’s five boroughs. Some 44,306 local diners voted on the restaurants.

The survey results revealed that the dining scene in New York City has not fully recovered from the economic downturn, as the survey showed that diners are cooking more meals at home, 6.7 meals per week, than eating out or ordering takeout. Diners averaged 6.4 meals eaten out per week. Some 19 percent of respondents reported eating out more this year compared to last year.

Le Bernardin has retained the top spot for Top Food for the fourth straight year and Most Popular for the second straight year.

Danny Meyer's North End Grill has been named Top Newcomer, earning a score of 25 for food on Zagat's 30-point scale. Other notable newcomers include Talde in Park Slope, Bistro La Promenade in Chelsea, Wong in the West Village, and Don Antonio in mid-town Manhattan.

Italian food still ranks at the top of the list for favorite cuisine, while American and French were the second and third most popular. For diners who do eat out, 58 percent said their biggest complaint is service, followed by noise and crowds (27 percent) and prices (8 percent).