Westword restaurant critic Gretchen Kurtz always waits several months before she reviews a new restaurant, so that the place can work out the glitches, make necessary staff switches — or change the concept altogether. Milk & Honey Bar-Kitchen, for example, opened in June with chef Lance Barto, but he'd left the restaurant before Kurtz ate there for her review of Milk & Honey — which she loved. Just two weeks before, she'd reviewed Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge, which was also "retooling" at the three-month mark. So how long should a critic wait before reviewing a restaurant? Says Henry:
If the price I pay is the same, when a restaurant is "retooling" as it is at any other time, then I expect the service and food to be exemplary. You want to be graded on a curve? Then lower your prices when going through a transition.
Ideally the food should be consistent, but this is real life. It takes blood and sweat and tears and lots of money and manpower to operate a restaurant. There is no way the food will be at its best in the first few weeks it's open. I always wait for a couple months and then try it.
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You wouldn't put up with subpar products from any other type of company, would you? Why would restaurants be different?
How long should a critic wait before she reviews a new restaurant? How long do you wait before you visit a new restaurant?