When a new friend or neighbor finds out that one of my jobs involves writing restaurant reviews, their first response is usually something like this: “Wow! You get to eat out at a different restaurant every week? That must be great!”Why yes! Yes it is! It’s fun to try new eateries, and the older ones too. We’re fortunate in this food-loving city to have a restaurant culture that understands what diners want and knows how to deliver it. I can hardly remember a place that really disappointed me.

No, wait, now that I mention it I can remember a few, but let’s set that aside for now. I don’t think I’ve had to write a really negative review in the past five years or so, not since that short-lived Mexican eatery on the riverfront.

Every now and then, though, during an otherwise excellent dining experience, I’ll come across a dish that just doesn’t work. I’m not talking about something that I simply don’t like but others do … I’m looking at you, pineapple on pizza … but outright flaws or poor decisions on the part of the chef or menu planner. In short, I’m talking about efforts that defy the old saying, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” I will absolutely tell you about blips like these when they happen, within the context of an otherwise positive review. Fair is fair. So, more out of sorrow than anger and in the spirit of offering useful ...Read more