Now believe me the irony of this post being written by someone who writes a restaurant blog and posts reviews online is not lost on me.... but bear with me.
I do a lot of online research when we are booking up places to eat during our various trips. I look up the Michelin and Zagat guides and read Trip Advisor. Even if we are choosing somewhere to eat at when we are at home I will still take a look on Trip Advisor to see what people have to say.
I've learnt however, from friends in the industry, that many restaurants use marketing/PR companies who write false reviews. I've also learnt to ignore those people who only write one or two reviews to slag-off a restaurant they had a bad experience at. The last thing I've learnt to do is to read a couple of the other reviews people have written. If I read a sparkling review from Debbie in Dallas (!) and I look at her profile and see that she considers Olive Garden to be a good Italian restaurant then I know I can pretty much ignore anything else she has to say.
I try to review most of the restaurants we go to as I like to think my reviews offer a fairer perspective for others. I review restaurants if they are good, bad or mediocre.
During our recent six week trip to New York City we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant every week.
The choice in NYC is HUGE...these were the ones from the 2014 list that we have eaten at so far.....
Three Stars: Three stars reward exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
Two Stars: Two stars denote excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
One Star: One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
Gotham Bar and Grill
Gramercy Tavern - I ate here last time I was in NYC
For 2015 were Betony and Resto were added. Daniel was downgraded to 2 stars and in 2013 sadly, Gordon Ramsey at The London lost his 2 stars.
Now I don't consider myself to be an expert on the criteria for Michelin Stars but I can say that I no longer hold them in the high esteem I once did. the Michelin Star rating is all madness to me.
How Ai Fiori has one star and yet Gordon lost his is a real puzzle to me. We had amazing food and service at The London whilst at Ai Fiori we had lukewarm food, no bread service and empty wine glasses whilst our bottle was sitting unattended near by.
We were once at Joël Robuchon in Tokyo which has three Michelin Stars. It was one of the worst meals we ate in that whole trip. Not only were we very disappointed with the food and bread but I was also served wine from a bottle that belonged to another table.
We left feeling about $400 lighter and also feeling that we really wanted to go and find something else to eat.
So, whilst I will continue to read the Michelin Star list, I'm going to cross reference it with Trip Advisor and also with Zagat before making any more expensive dinner commitments.
However, I do admit it is still all a bit of Madness....
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