Monday, April 22, 2013

How To Choose a Good Restaurant

My wife and I went to New York for a week; that’s the reason for the absence of blog posts. I moved there after college to become a playwright, thought better of it, and attended medical school at NYU before returning to California. Although much changed, New York remains a hellish but fascinating city.

We had a good time. We were especially pleased at the consistently excellent meals. This was not always the case in previous visits, and I’m writing to explain how we achieved this.

In the past we searched internet sites such as Urban Spoon, but reading opinions on food is surprisingly unproductive. Internet restaurant reviews consist mostly of suspiciously enthusiastic praise plus the occasional rant from someone who’s had a bad experience. Even choosing restaurants with high approval percentages is a crapshoot. I have discovered a better method.

I stick to $$$ ratings. As you know, sites label restaurants as $ (cheap), $$ (moderate), and $$$ (expensive). We decided that the eternal search for superb, low-priced meals is a waste of time. By sticking to expensive restaurants, we had a delightful string of meals.

I’m sure you can poke holes in this technique, but I defy you to suggest a better one. Ironically, evidence for my discovery came in one trattoria in Little Italy where prices on the menu were lower than we were accustomed to. I wondered if its $$$ rating was a mistake. That may have been true because the food was OK but not what we had come to expect.        

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