In the last fortnight there was a pretty scathing review in one of the local dailies of a new restaurant. I won’t, for obvious reasons, mention its name. The veteran reviewer took the restaurant to task over everything. Not even the art and music measured up.
I’ve not been there myself, so I can’t contest anything — from the “limp arugula” to sepia-photos-of-Fred-Astaire ambience. But I will say this — and I have done restaurant reviews in a previous journalistic incarnation — it’s imperative to be both honest — and fair.
Newly opened restaurants, whatever their investment and fanfare, are still doing a shakedown cruise in the early going. Patrons and reviewers alike could well have a decidedly different dining experience the second time. While recognizing that the reviewer’s obligation is to readers — and his role is not that of public relations flack — it just might be appropriate to return for a second look. Soon.
And if the arugula is still limp, the criticism should be crisp.