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jordyn

Assessing Restaurants

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On the "Brits Eye View of Blue Hill" thread, the topic has been raised of how much one's personal preference for the food at a particular restaurant should affect the assessment of that restaurant.

On the one hand, we have Fat Guy, who argues that a relatively objective set of criteria should be used in evaluating a restaurant's performance. Recently he wrote:

I wouldn't judge a sommelier's performance based on my idiosyncrasies. If I find a sommelier whose tastes are right on target with my own, I'll go back and re-utilize that sommelier. But it doesn't make me say, "Hey, that's the best damn sommelier in the world because we always agree." If I was giving out the best-sommelier-in-the-world award, that's the last thing I'd look at. Cabrales, it's like with the Supreme Court. Most people assume the Supreme Court justices just sit around and vote whether or not they like the idea of prayer in the schools or whatever. But anybody who studies the subject knows that only the fringe justices do that. The rest of them play by a set of rules called the Constitution. There may be room for discussion about what that set of rules means, but ultimately you've got to acknowledge it as the benchmark.

to support his earlier approach:

Le Bernardin is without a doubt one of the top restaurants in New York, but I rarely eat there because the food just doesn't do it for me. I understand why the food is great, but I don't enjoy eating there. So I don't. I recommend it to people for whom I think it would be an appropriate restaurant, but I don't apply that advice to myself... Ducasse's style of cooking is not one I prefer, but I think his restaurant is the best in New York because it's a legitimate style and he does it better than anybody else does any other equally legitimate style.

The other view, advocated by Cabrales and myself, is that specific flavors that we like or don't like do (and ought to) effect our assessment of the restaurant. I have argued:

If a reviewer doesn't like the way the food at a restaurant tastes, I'd rather read a statement like "Le Bernadin's food was not to my taste, but the fish was of excellent quality and the technique seemed to be exceptional as well" than "Le Bernadin is one of the best restaurants in the city."

For me, the most important characteristic of food is how it tastes. Other factors, such as texture, color, technical wizardry that does not exhibit itself obviously in the flavor, and even Cabrales' humor, can contribute to my enjoyment of a dish, but are not sufficient to make eating it worthwhile. I can objectively report on these other factors, but I can only subjectively report on taste, and this is something that I would hope any person discussing a restaurant would do.

while Cabrales has made the points that:

I have particular ingredients (e.g., chicken, eggs, Brittany lobsters) that I like, but no ingredients (apart from waterchestnuts) that I cannot take in. I generally order what appears most interesting (including in view of a dish's history) and/or most potentially delicious to me. I hold a restaurant accountable for presenting a sufficiently broad and appealing menu that I would find items to order. Thus, I do not adjust for whether the ingredients included in dishes offered are products that I like. If the dish is not subjectively delicious to me, no mitigating factors are available in the manner you suggest.

and

On the point about fairness, why would a diner take into account a sommelier's recommendation and its appropriateness to the particular diner (recognizing that wine may be have certain "objective" characteristics; however, pairing with the meal and its saucing is rather subjective with respect to subtleties) in evaluating a restaurant, but not the composition and ingredients of the dessert or any other dish?

Okay, now discuss.

Edited to add a recap.

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Who wants to volunteer to cut-and-paste a recap here? Believe me, when you require that extra click you lose the audience.

(Note: This has now been done)


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Okay, I did that. Hopefully fairly.

Fat Guy: Your recent analogy regarding the Supreme Court got me thinking about how a critic using your paradigm would evaluate an innovative dish. If there is an established canon of good ingredients and appropriate techniques, and this is used to objectively compare various preparations, how does one assess new approaches to traditional ingredients, or good-tasting preparations of non-traditional ingredients?

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Below is another excerpt from the previous thread:

In France, woodcock or becasse is prohibited from being sold in restaurants. Monaco too.  I had woodcock for the first time during last year's season at  Michelin-one-starred Putney Bridge near London.  That game bird was prepared very well, with the classical items placed on a little crouton. (The chef is Anthony Demeter, spelling, formerly a sous-chef of La Tante Claire's Pierre Koffman; very technically adept, and generally offering good cuisine).  Of course the inclusion of woodcock in the meal led me to look upon the meal more favorably than if I had been served, say, only pigeonneau.  Same when I had woodcock for the first time at Waterside Inn -- excellent. When I returned shortly thereafter and the restaurant remembered I had had the restaurant's classic preparation, that had to be taken into account in my evaluation of the meal. (As to how they remembered: my calling about the availability of woodcock several times) When the team brought out saucing with a side of bulbous, ripe but not too ripe, peeled green grapes (without knowing that is one of my favorite things to eat and rarely found in restaurant dishes for some reason) for the woodcock, did I let that strong personal preference for that form of peeled green grapes affect my assessment of the meal?  Definitely.  :laugh:

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On the notion of fairness, there was this by Cabrales:

"If I received a chocolate dessert (e.g., in a tasting menu or a surprise menu), it would be less favorable to my assessment of the meal than if I had received most cherry or lemon desserts. I do not consider that kind of assessment unfair to the applicable restaurant."

Steve Plotnicki replied:

"If you are in a restaurant and have ordered a surprise menu and you do not prefer to be served choclate for dessert, then you should just say so at the beginning of the meal. 100% of the restaurants in the world will accomodate you. Otherwise, if a restaurant brings you a chocolate dessert when you don't say anything, I don't see how you are entitled to hold it against them?"

I considered Cabrales's initial stance unfair and then Shaw weighed in with:

"Chocolate is an unassailable ingredient. It is as canonical as potatoes or lamb or veal stock. When a restaurant puts chocolate in front of you, the legitimacy of chocolate is not an issue up for discussion."

On another ingredient--Shaw writes "once in awhile I do find myself telling myself that the only reason I don't like a dish is because I'm not partial to dishes with a lot of rosemary but I'm hyper-rosemary-sensitive so I need to put myself in the shoes of a rosemary-normal person and ask whether from that perspective the dish is good. And if it is that's what I write."

Is it reasonable to expect a professional critic, as Shaw says, "to speak with the palate of an experienced diner who appreciates the things that experienced diners appreciate" and is it also reasonable to expect same from an experienced diner writing up an assessment of their experience?


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Jordyn: The first question you ask is whether you like the dish. And the second question you ask is why. Usually in the why you can sort out questions of idiosyncratic personal preference from issues of excellence in ingredients, combinations, and techniques. But sometimes you can't, of course, which is exactly why experimental cuisine is so risky for a chef. If you're going to cook that kind of food and stay sane you're going to have to be prepared for a lot of customers and critics who are going to pass judgment on your competence based solely on whether or not they like the taste of mackerel. As a critic you try your best. It's not an exact science. Most cooking is based on a foundation of what came before it, so you use deductive and inductive reasoning to evaluate the evolution. You trust your palate, once you adjust your expectations around your quirks. And in the end yes you need to have the confidence to label things good and bad, because that's your job.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Basically, it's a question of whether you are eating professionally or not.

Similiarly, I often prepare menus of dishes containing ingredients that I do not like or am sensitive to, such as beans. Without exception I am told that these are the best dishes of their kind that the people have eaten. I understand what the product tastes like, what flavour profiles to bring into play and how that will balance with the other dishes.

It's a job. One does it as well as is possible. Or better.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Steve P is right, in that I should be forthcoming about my personal preference for fruit, egg or other non-chocolate based desserts. He is always explicit about the item to which he is allergic, I remember. Except for quasi-signature dishes like Lameloise's "Griottes au chocolat noir sur une marmelade d'orange" (Chagny, France), I would not choose a chocolate dessert. I will more proactive in tasting menus or surprise menus and specify that nicely to the restaurant.

Is it reasonable to expect a professional critic, as Shaw says, "to speak with the palate of an experienced diner who appreciates the things that experienced diners appreciate" and *is it also reasonable to expect same from an **experienced diner** writing up an assessment of their experience*?

Steve Klc -- When you have a chance, could you clarify why you hint that a more experienced, non-professional diner might be subject to a higher potential standard in write-ups than a younger or otherwise less experienced, non-professional diner? :wacko:

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I'm not sure what you mean Cab--but what I mean and perhaps poorly stated is: should professional restaurant critics on the one hand and very experienced diners on the other both be held to a similar standard, as Shaw lays out, when writing up a report of their meal--and recognizing the greatness or achievement of such a meal or chef?

Is a distinction, as Jinmyo writes, "a question of whether you are eating professionally or not?"


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Basically, it's a question of whether you are eating professionally or not.

I don't see the dichotomy being quite so stark. Plenty of restaurant reviewers (not all, amazingly) are amateurs at heart. I certainly am. The only thing that changed about me when my status moved from amateur to professional was that I started getting paid to do what I would have done anyway. And over time of course I've acquired more experience. But if I posted a recommendation on a message board I'd be thinking the same way as if I wrote a review for the New York Times: I'd be thinking about my audience and I'd be drawing on my experience as a diner in order to explain myself to my audience. I might, given the informal nature of a message board and the unlimited space and the lack of editorial interference, give more information about my personal preferences and such, but it wouldn't change the basics.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'd be thinking about my audience and I'd be drawing on my experience as a diner in order to explain myself to my audience. I might, given the informal nature of a message board and the unlimited space and the lack of editorial interference, give more information about my personal preferences and such, but it wouldn't change the basics.

I don't generally alter my descriptions of a meal because I know others might be viewing it; they are the same in nature as the ones I used to write up for myself prior to my membership in the board. I omit description on the board of certain meals, for various reasons. However, when I post, I emphasize for the reader the subjective nature of my assessments and sometimes note my preferences. :wink:

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While I suppose that it is possible to write about food while remaining fairly neutral on subjective notions of taste, I think that it is a) harder than people generally seem to be indicating is the case here and b) less interesting than food writing that does contain a personal reaction to flavors.

I'll start with the second point first. As I indicated earlier, as a consumer of restaurant reviews, I find it extremely helpful to know that the food tastes good or bad to that reviewer. Ultimately, if my palate agress with the reviewer's, I will be able to generally rely on this person to steer me to restaurants I enjoy. This does not mean that some objective discussion of the food is not equally useful, but I feel that it would be a shame if personal reactions were excluded simply because they didn't follow generally accepted norms.

To a certain extent, these subjective notions of taste inevitably enter reviews in any case. Fat Guy, I looked at two of your reviews as a sample: Le Bernadin and Tasting Room. Compare how the food is described at Le Bernadin:

But since its New York opening in 1986...Le Bernardin has steadily turned out the city's best fish (with the possible exception of some Japanese restaurants, which really aren't comparable) and has done so with aplomb...I might argue that Le Bernardin doesn't achieve highs as high as those you can find elsewhere, but its accolades are clearly a reflection of its reliability. At this point the issue of whether to dine at Le Bernardin has long been settled.

...

The downside is that the kitchen feels compelled to produce too many dishes where fish pinch-hits for meat -- so much so that delicate flavors can be masked. For example, an intense roasted-meat jus proves entirely unsubtle when used as a sauce on cod, and while truffles and foie gras are two of the greatest foodstuffs in all creation, they overwhelm too many dishes at Le Bernardin...Stick to the items that maintain the spirit of seafood, and you will be rewarded: My favorite appetizer is the raw, lemon-splashed fluke with chives and extra virgin olive oil; the seared yellowfin tuna is a close second (the other tuna appetizer, a carpaccio, is unfortunately buried in gooey ginger-lime mayonnaise). Bouillabaisse is likewise a success, and is tremendously satisfying in the dead of winter. Among the entrées, the barely cooked salmon is a lesson in the proper application of truffles, lobster is arguably worth its $ 15 supplement, and if you have two willing participants and a day's notice you have no good argument for not ordering the whole salt-crusted red snapper.

vs. descriptions of the Tasting Room:

THE FIRST thing you notice about Colin Alevras's food is that it tastes different. It's not easy to put your finger on it, but it's clear: something is going on at the Tasting Room. This eight-table enclave has, for the past year and a half, quietly been serving up some of the most compelling cuisine in town

...

A recent dish of young New Jersey asparagus served over shiitake mushrooms and braised eel demonstrates the power of the Alevras approach to shopping. The asparagus, totally fresh and cooked al dente, couldn't be better, nor could the shiitakes, short of transforming themselves into black truffles...Citrus-marinated cod, served raw with chunks of the sweetest pink grapefruit imaginable, likewise demonstrates the power of simplicity done right, as does the most unpresupposing plateful of finely chopped mushrooms and onions, formed into four deeply earthy lumps.

The food at the Tasting Room is more vividly described, and there's more discussion of flavor throughout the review. Both restaurants are highly praised, but it is perhaps less obvious why in the case of Le Bernadin. This isn't meant as a criticism--based on your described subjective preferences, it seems that you've done a good job of treating Le Bernadin fairly and describing the reasons for its excellence--but to point out that I think your reactions to the taste of the food at both places is coming through in your reviews despite your intent. It's just not practical to describe food you don't particularly care for in the same way as food you truly enjoy. Your preferences become clear, but the reader is forced to deconstruct the review and look for "what's missing" as opposed to what's actually on the page.

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Jordyn, Thanks for raising the bar. A couple of thoughts on points raised so far.

Can you make a review more objective by trying to imagine how others would view the same meal? I wonder if there's a lack of symmetry between reviewer and reader in terms of empathy--can't think of a better word. When I read Grimes, say, I don't expect him to imagine how the meal would be for others. I want his opinion on his meal. As a reader, though, I'm placing myself in his shoes, but, again, I don't want him to be so presumptuous and guess how I or many other readers would react to the meal.

Slightly different point. Can I assess a dish I never care for? (Different than ordering something one usually likes, say, chicken, and meat is off). Say you hate egg whites--a friend of mine does (he loves the yolks, but cannot abide the texture of the whites)--can you assess the Mexican dish "peppers with fried eggs"? Probably not, right? Or can one make an imaginative leap? Jinmyo has mentioned cooking dishes she doesn't care for, and I remember the fuss about Keller (possibly) presenting oysters & pearls without ever tasting the dish, but being sure the dish worked. Maybe you might be able to imagine how a dish would taste to someone who'd care for it--but how far does this get you?

Back to Grimes whom I like overall. But sometimes I'm unsure if he liked some dishes. He'll give a long description of the visual appeal, say, and then you're left hanging. Come on Grimes, did it taste nice or not?

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Jordyn, you happen to have selected one of the better reviews I've written (one that I self-select when editor-types ask me for writing samples) with one that I'd describe as average. There are plenty of restaurants I really love but for which I've written reviews that just aren't great writing; and vice versa. In fact some of my best writing ever has been about restaurants I've hated. I think when reviewing a place like Le Bernardin a reviewer is bound to be limited to a particular level of the discussion. You don't see the place reviewed much at all because there's not much left to say, it's not news, and there's no championing to be done. It's a four-star restaurant, it's one of the best, and everybody knows it. As a writer you're trying to add to the discussion, and where there's already been a really rich discussion what do you say? What I felt I needed to do in that kind of review was discuss the food in its context and give sort of a user's manual: What dishes should you order at Le Bernardin to get the upper-end of the four-star experience, and more importantly what ordering strategy should you use. With the Tasting Room, there you have a restaurant I really wanted to champion because it's such an underdog (or was soon to be) and also nobody had ever really taken the time to understand the place and present it to the public. I think I published that one a week or so before Grimes published his in the Times, and I knew his was coming up and I had absolute confidence that he would hate the place. I must confess part of my agenda there was to provide counterpoint to what I knew was about to get dropped on the Alevras team. But I also meant every word of it. I also meant every word of the enthusiastic reviews I wrote about, say, Fried Dumpling or Grand Sichuan but that doesn't mean those restaurants are better than Le Bernardin or the Tasting Room or even that I like them better. It's just sometimes you get excited about something you have to say and sometimes that helps your writing and sometimes it doesn't.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fat Guy: I've not been to Le B in several years, but my take was similar to yours. The sauce overwhelmed the fish. I'm going back soon and look forward to it, though.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Do you think, in general, people have less to say about fish than they do about meat? I imagine people feel more excited about meat. And does this affect views on Le B?

2. Does the formal, some might say stuffy, service at Le B dampen the palate? Excitement is not a word that springs to mind when I think of Le B.

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(Shaw, via jordyn) . . . Most people assume the Supreme Court justices just sit around and vote whether or not they like the idea of prayer in the schools or whatever. But anybody who studies the subject knows that only the fringe justices do that. The rest of them play by a set of rules called the Constitution. . . .

*cough*choke*sputter*

I'm sorry, as big a fan as I am of Shaw, I don't think the Supreme Court analogy is particularly apt. Supreme Court justices are appointed, aside from the demographic categories they fall into, precisely BECAUSE they have certain prejudices--the same ones that the President appointing them has.

Only God can give an objective opinion. A magazine that deals with food can be just as subject to grudges, politics, & whim as a magazine about current affairs or policy issues.

The analogy in publishing to the Supreme Court would be having an editor that WANTS a bad review of Le Bernardin, so he sends a person who hates seafood. The resulting review is an honest reflection of the reviewer's preferences, sure, but basically the editor got the negative review he wanted by sending someone he knew would hate the restaurant. You don't send a vegan to review Peter Luger, no matter how honest he is.

No, the honorable way to handle the subject is by making clear your preferences up front (as Shaw himself does on his site). Once you make your preferences known, you allow a reader to mentally compensate for them. This is true for any type of criticism, whether it be food or art or movies. Run like hell from any critic who says "I am completely unbiased and objective about my job." Ain't no such animal. I think there was a part-owner of the Hayes Street Grill (SF) who would "recuse herself," so to speak, whenever she had to review a nearby restaurant, on the theory that she might be displaying some subconcious bias against a place that could theoretically take business away from her own restaurant.

Given enough experience with a given reviewer (which takes time and patience) a reader can use that reviewer's judgment very effectively. Think of it as asking the time of someone who has a watch that you know from experience is always fifteen minutes slow, or fast--you just mentally compensate for it in your head.

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My perspective is more like Yvonne's than anyone elses. When I am reading a restaurant review, what is most important to me is the reviewer's personality. That he might not like egg whites, or like chocolate is something I can deal with if properly disclosed. I can learn a lot more from a reviewer if when they are reviewing Le Bernadin they say they usually don't like that type of place. And if they then try to be objective about it and say that's what they are trying to do, I can calibrate the review to my palate taking the disclaimer into consideration. Obviously, I wouldn't value Fat Guy's review of a place like Blue Hill if he says somewhere in the review that it isn't his type of place or the cooking isn't the style he normally likes. But then again I can assess that his review of the hamburger at Peter Luger had a great chance of agreeing with my palate as much as it did with his. To me those distinctions are the essence of what makes a reviewer good at his job.

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I'm not sure what you mean Cab--but what I mean and perhaps poorly stated is: should professional restaurant critics on the one hand and very experienced diners on the other both be held to a similar standard, as Shaw lays out, when writing up a report of their meal--and recognizing the greatness or achievement of such a meal or chef?

Is a distinction, as Jinmyo writes, "a question of whether you are eating professionally or not?"

Steve Klc -- Note I do not necessarily take it as a given that professional reviewers have to be held to a standard of relative "objectivity". However, even assuming that were the case, I do not see any need for a non-professional member (whether experienced or not) who posts on the board to be held to any standards, except those of his own choosing and except for not intentionally (or due to negligence at some level) posting false factual information. The non-professional member should be free to adopt a more "objective" style, or one that is more personal and subjective. :wink:

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Supreme Court justices are appointed, aside from the demographic categories they fall into, precisely BECAUSE they have certain prejudices--the same ones that the President appointing them has.

I'd happily explain to you why that doesn't affect the analogy, but how about you save me the time and just assume it? I'm not trying to start a discussion about the Supreme Court, so will you grant that the ideal Supreme Court justice would put the Constitution ahead of personal preference? If so, my job is done and we don't have to go down that path.

Run like hell from any critic who says "I am completely unbiased and objective about my job." Ain't no such animal.

But surely you'd grant that the honorable critic tries as hard as possible to be completely unbiased and objective about the job. Sure, it's impossible, but it's an aspiration.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The non-professional member should be free to adopt a more "objective" style, or one that is more personal and subjective.

The non-professional member is free to do that but still needs to be willing to take it on the chin when claiming that Blue Hill is one of the eight best restaurants in New York.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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When I am reading a restaurant review, what is most important to me is the reviewer's personality.

That's because you don't care what anybody else thinks, schmuck!


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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1. Do you think, in general, people have less to say about fish than they do about meat? I imagine people feel more excited about meat. And does this affect views on Le B?

2. Does the formal, some might say stuffy, service at Le B dampen the palate?  Excitement is not a word that springs to mind when I think of Le B.

1. I get more excited about fish.

2. I like stuffy, formal service.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The non-professional member should be free to adopt a more "objective" style, or one that is more personal and subjective.

The non-professional member is free to do that but still needs to be willing to take it on the chin when claiming that Blue Hill is one of the eight best restaurants in New York.

Steven -- What do you mean by your reference to "take it on the chin", so I respond properly? If you mean addressing your objections to my inclusion of Blue Hill as one of the eight subjectively best restaurants in NY, I don't see any need to do so. As I have continued to emphasize, it is a subjective assessment that reflects, among other things, the "match" between what a restaurant has to offer and what a particular diner prefers. Just like I have never felt I have had to "take it on the chin" for reporting that I dislike the cuisine of Gagnaire, Ducasse, Veyrat and many others in the context of the French culinary landscape. (Obviously, this has to be taken in context. I would rather dine at Ducasse's Plaza Athenee than Union Pacific, another restaurant I like in NY, for example) :wink:

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Okay, so subjectively you think Blue Hill is one of the top eight restaurants in New York and subjectively I don't. And I also think if we appeal to a more universal set of standards -- call it a gourmet consensus that pinch hits for objectivity -- Blue Hill doesn't make the list. Should we have a conversation about that, or should we just back away from the subject because you said it's your personal taste?


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Steven -- I'd be happy to have a conversation about it, after you identify the restaurants that "should" be on the list of eight based on "gourmet" consensus, but that are not on my list. :wink: By the way, I don't adhere to any "gourmet" consensus assessments after I have visited a restaurant. Before visiting a facility, I might review many sources of information on it. After I visit (including through a series of visits over time, if I consider the restaurant interesting to explore), however, it's my assessment that counts 100%. :laugh:

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