Someone asked me how I approach restaurant reviewing and it made me think of the word collaboration.
There are three components that make up a restaurant experience: the food, the service and the ambience. All three have to work in tandem to create a harmonious experience.
It’s really not much different than what makes a particular TV show your favorite. It takes a unique concept, talented writers, able actors and good directing to create a worthy show.
It’s the same for a good restaurant, but the players are the chef and/or kitchen staff, the servers, and the management.
The making of a good restaurant doesn’t solely rest on the shoulders of a chef, although the food is certainly the main event. The service – from how you’re greeted at the door to the attentiveness of your server during your meal – is a supporting player as is the overall ambience (décor, lighting, background music, and general “vibe”).
When one of the collaborators isn’t carrying his or her weight, the experience quickly gets off kilter. Sometimes we can overlook the infractions. Some diners could care less about the service if the food is solid. Others will forgive food faux pas if the service is personal and attentive. And ambience is just icing on the cake to some.
I approach each restaurant with the intent of evaluating all three components. Food always counts for more in my reviews (who goes to a restaurant and doesn’t eat?), followed by service and then ambience. I don’t apply the same strict standards to a sandwich shop as I do a fine dining restaurant. I take into account the audience the restaurant is serving.
At the end of the page, it’s just an opinion, albeit an educated one. And, yes, I love my job. Dining in a restaurant is my favorite show of all.