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Five Behind-the-Scenes Takes on Being a Restaurant Critic, After 100 Reviews

Bacon Jam flatbread from Range
Bacon Jam flatbread from Range
Danielle Lirette

When people find out what I do for a living, they always ask two things: 1) What's your favorite restaurant? And 2) What's it like to be a critic? I'll save the answer to the first question for our 31st edition of Best Of Denver next spring.

But with one more week to go before my hundredth review, now is a great time to peel back the curtain on this wild and wonderful job.

See also: Six Tidbits About Dining in Denver Collected Over 100 Reviews

Lower 48, Gretchen's choice for Best New Restaurant 2014
Lower 48, Gretchen's choice for Best New Restaurant 2014
Danielle Lirette

5. I eat out. A lot. So I'm always looking for people to come to restaurants with me. And while I initially invited friends I wanted to catch up with, that strategy has its shortcomings. Reviewing is work, not play. So all you picky eaters, loud talkers, and folks with small appetites, sorry, you're off the list. But I still love you.

Sopes yucateca with cochinita pibil at Mayan Manjar Yucateco.
Sopes yucateca with cochinita pibil at Mayan Manjar Yucateco.
Danielle Lirette

4. I knew I could eat a lot; just how much surprised me, which is why I don't eat out in skinny jeans or clothes that fit better standing up than sitting. Still, I can't order ten dishes on my own. (See above.)

 

Chanterelle carbonara from To The Wind Bistro
Chanterelle carbonara from To The Wind Bistro
Danielle Lirette

3. When I'm not eating out, I eat healthy. Doctor's orders.

Sliders from The Kitchen Next Door Glendale
Sliders from The Kitchen Next Door Glendale
Danielle Lirette

2. With nearly 100 reviews under my belt, I can safely say it never gets any easier being critical week in, week out. I'm a people-pleaser, like many of us. But honesty is the best policy, and without the negative reviews, the positive ones don't mean anything.

 

Guard and Grace, where Gretchen went sans wig
Guard and Grace, where Gretchen went sans wig
Danielle Lirette

1. No, I don't wear a wig.



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