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Jeremy J

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Jeremy J » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:35 pm

I have to agree with Zach on this one that the scores given to some restaurants are generous to say the least. I read the NY Times restaurant reviews quit often and I think I can see where he is coming from. When reading the times I’m often turned on by the writing about the restaurant, the food, the cocktails, and the overall ambiance. As I read about the delicious soup, the amazing rabbit dish, the knowledgeable wait staff, the wine, beer and cocktails, the overall ambiance of the dining room I think to myself that if I lived in New York it would be the type of establishment I would frequent. There are often critiques of the restaurant and they aren’t always as harsh as the viral Guy Fieri’s American Restaurant review, but astute points about dishes and service. The review I’m referring to, the restaurant received 1 star. It was a small bistro with rustic food and a comfortable atmosphere, it is what it is, 1 star. It isn’t the goliath; it isn’t Le Bernardin, Per Se, Daniel, or 11 Madison Park, it’s a quaint bistro. I find it disheartening to read a review where a delicatessen or gastro pub receives the same acclaim as a fine dining or even casual fine dining establishment. I don’t think the rating matches the experience and is unfair to the restaurants attempting to reach the highest of praise. I have no problem with a glowing review, tell me that you loved it, the atmosphere was amazing and that you’ll return bringing friends from out of town, or recommend everyone make a trip to the location. It bothers me when a sandwich gets the same accolades as a well thought out menu with intricate technique, an amazing wine, beer and cocktail list, a present and knowledgeable wait staff and an atmosphere to match.




THIS.
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DanB

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by DanB » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:17 am

I'm OK as long as a reviewer clearly explains his or her rating system and style. I do amateur reviews on Qype and my system also allocates stars based on value for money and overall experience within a particular class. Hence the girlfriend and I recently both gave 3.5 stars to a Michelin starred gourmet restaurant in Alsace with molecular/organic/farmtofork/whatever cuisine. It was good, but at €220 we weren't bowled over.

A month earlier we both gave five stars to an astoundingly filthy, working class pub, also in Alsace. It was pitiful. We were scared to eat the food we ordered so we just used a handkerchief to wipe the rims of our wine glasses and absorbed the ambience that frankly might have made Toulouse Lautrec recoil in horror, if not collapse in a fit of convulsions. The place was absolutely surreal..... and we loved it. Tab was maybe €12.

Luckily Qype lets you click a classification from fine dining all the way down to dirt cheap. Personally I like a professional reviewer who can also allocate stars like I do. As long as his/her addressable audience is broad enough, then by all means five stars for the best in fine dining and five stars as well to the diviest of the dives or the roughest of the roadhouses. There will always be some readers who simply won't go to a gourmet establishment in the first place and you can write entertainingly for them too without making everything a 1-star experience.
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Carla G

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Carla G » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:15 am

DanB wrote:I'm OK as long as a reviewer clearly explains his or her rating system and style. I do amateur reviews on Qype and my system also allocates stars based on value for money and overall experience within a particular class. Hence the girlfriend and I recently both gave 3.5 stars to a Michelin starred gourmet restaurant in Alsace with molecular/organic/farmtofork/whatever cuisine. It was good, but at €220 we weren't bowled over.

A month earlier we both gave five stars to an astoundingly filthy, working class pub, also in Alsace. It was pitiful. We were scared to eat the food we ordered so we just used a handkerchief to wipe the rims of our wine glasses and absorbed the ambience that frankly might have made Toulouse Lautrec recoil in horror, if not collapse in a fit of convulsions. The place was absolutely surreal..... and we loved it. Tab was maybe €12.

Luckily Qype lets you click a classification from fine dining all the way down to dirt cheap. Personally I like a professional reviewer who can also allocate stars like I do. As long as his/her addressable audience is broad enough, then by all means five stars for the best in fine dining and five stars as well to the diviest of the dives or the roughest of the roadhouses. There will always be some readers who simply won't go to a gourmet establishment in the first place and you can write entertainingly for them too without making everything a 1-star experience.


THIS (for me)
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Rob Coffey

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Rob Coffey » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:56 am

Carla G wrote:
DanB wrote:I'm OK as long as a reviewer clearly explains his or her rating system and style. I do amateur reviews on Qype and my system also allocates stars based on value for money and overall experience within a particular class. Hence the girlfriend and I recently both gave 3.5 stars to a Michelin starred gourmet restaurant in Alsace with molecular/organic/farmtofork/whatever cuisine. It was good, but at €220 we weren't bowled over.

A month earlier we both gave five stars to an astoundingly filthy, working class pub, also in Alsace. It was pitiful. We were scared to eat the food we ordered so we just used a handkerchief to wipe the rims of our wine glasses and absorbed the ambience that frankly might have made Toulouse Lautrec recoil in horror, if not collapse in a fit of convulsions. The place was absolutely surreal..... and we loved it. Tab was maybe €12.

Luckily Qype lets you click a classification from fine dining all the way down to dirt cheap. Personally I like a professional reviewer who can also allocate stars like I do. As long as his/her addressable audience is broad enough, then by all means five stars for the best in fine dining and five stars as well to the diviest of the dives or the roughest of the roadhouses. There will always be some readers who simply won't go to a gourmet establishment in the first place and you can write entertainingly for them too without making everything a 1-star experience.


THIS (for me)


Me too.

Well, maybe not entirely. It would hard for me to give a dive 5-stars as they dont bring the whole package. But 4, sure.
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Jeremy Markle

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Jeremy Markle » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:19 pm

I'm tired of stars and numbers. Can't we dispense with them and focus on the writing, a la New Yorker's Tables for Two?
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Carla G

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Carla G » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:44 pm

Jeremy Markle wrote:I'm tired of stars and numbers. Can't we dispense with them and focus on the writing, a la New Yorker's Tables for Two?


I don't know Jeremy. Then some people would actually have to read. No, we better stick to stars and numbers and sound bytes in bold caps so they will not have to read everything. Reading an entire article might lead to a better understanding of why the reviewer either liked them, dislike them or was merely unimpressed with them and that, well, that way dwells insanity.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Robin Garr

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Robin Garr » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:46 pm

Jeremy Markle wrote:I'm tired of stars and numbers. Can't we dispense with them and focus on the writing, a la New Yorker's Tables for Two?

For the record, when I'm reviewing with our print-media partners, LEO likes ratings but the Voice-Tribune doesn't use them. This doesn't alter my approach to reviewing at all, it just saves me the step of working through the rating process for Voice reviews. 8)
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