The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville (above) was on the OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants list, as was Ruth’s Chris in Jacksonville, Florida. The San Francisco Chronicle 2003

If I were a restaurateur in San Francisco, I’d like to think about stepping away from OpenTable and finding a new reservation service. I’ve always thought that a company that sells restaurant reservations shouldn’t be in the reviews business, and the company’s publication of Diners’ Choice “Top 100 Best Restaurants in the US” shows why.

It’s quite a list if the words “top” and “best” are used in the same description. I have a better word for the list: lame. It’s an insult to many top restaurants that use and pay for OpenTable restaurant service.

There are no San Francisco restaurants in the group, but Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Jacksonville, Florida made it. So does the Coach House in Oklahoma City and Harry’s in Manhattan, Kansas. I’m not saying these places are bad, but can they beat Benu, Coi, or even Zuni Cafe? I can agree with some of the places on the list like Per Se in New York, O Ya in Boston, and Vetri in Philadelphia, but overall the list seems like a random mix of restaurants and doesn’t really compare the quality to the same level.

To quote from the press release: “The list of winners is based on more than 10 million reviews submitted by OpenTable guests for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

The announcement was presented with Gravitas as if this were a believable list: “North Carolina linked California’s eatery mecca with ten winning restaurants, while New York restaurants took up seven seats. South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia each took six places. The restaurants in Colorado and Ohio scored four wins each, and Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Minnesota each won three nods. States that are also on the list of winners include Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, among others. “

Here are the California “winners”. Three are in the Bay Area, but none are in San Francisco. More information can be found here.

Addison in Grand Del Mar, San Diego

Ambiente, Carmichael

Boulevard Bistro, Elk Grove

Carpe Vino, Auburn

Dewz, Modesto

Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, Forestville

French Laundry, Yountville

The hobbit, orange

The kitchen restaurant in Sacramento

Madrona Manor, Healdsburg

I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost my respect for a company that actually advertises such a seemingly random list.