WHAT DO WE GET FROM RESTAURANT REVIEWS?
Usually it’s a deconstruction of the menu, a mentions the chef’s name and background, and approximate cost of a meal with a glass of wine. It’s as if the experience was ONLY about the food.
Most people today are pretty good home cooks or know where to get ready foods to take home. Going out to a restaurant is for an experience involving more than food. It’s about spending time in an enjoyable atmosphere with someone caring for you, introducing you to new drinks and generally making you glad you went out. The restaurants that we return to are the ones where we had the most memorable experiences and those tend to happen when a whole bunch of things go well. Good food just being one component. Servers with a good attitude, an interesting space and a buzz of excitement draw me back faster than the food.
Toronto’s most senior restaurant reviewer, Joanne Kates, must have known I was writing this blog. Her report on the Hoof Café in Saturday’s Globe covered all the bases I mentioned. An excellent account of the whole experience. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/restaurant-review-the-hoof-caf/article1498703/