Is it that they just don’t know what they’re talking about? Or that they have questionable taste? How can most of the restaurant reviews in Sarasota, Florida where I live be so far from the truth?
Do you feel that way? Or is it just me?
I recently read a review of an Italian restaurant in Edible Magazine, a publication I had up until now the utmost respect for, that actually — made me mad. Ticked me off. Got under my skin. So much so I wanted to call the publisher. Maybe I still will.
Here’s what did it. These words. They hit me like a bad press release. “Some people are just born with talent. Whitney was born to sing. Ernest was born to write. Marcello was born to cook. Period.“
Not only was it weird to see “Whitney” and “Ernest” in the same paragraph, it was even stranger to see Marcello given this kind of overblown praise. Especially since I had dined at the chef’s namesake restaurant three times prior to reading that glossy, misleading review. On each occasion, I had a mediocre meal. My thoughts and those of my food savvy tablemates were basically the same. Heavy handed. Over sauced. Nothing special. Bayonne, New Jersey.
Our fearless reviewer had this to say: “ If you’ve already eaten at Marcello’s … you don’t need one single word of this article to convince you how special this nine-table Italian eatery is. “ And she went on to comment “ The servers are also spectacular.”
Was this the same place? On each of my visits, our server (we, unfortunately, had the same sorry fellow every time) was not only inept and overly gratuitous, he became flustered, irritated, belligerent and difficult to deal with when asked questions he couldn’t answer or when we offered suggestions about how to improve the meal.
I don’t want to be too mean spirited here. My point is — unless restaurants are given honest reviews by thoughtful, knowledgeable individuals, we have no hope of improving the quality of the dining experience here in Sarasota. We deserve better. Don’t you agree?
When someone asks “how did you like the meal?” Let them know.
Hopefully, they’ll listen.