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Chris Shott On The Rules Of Modern Restaurant Reviewing

On the heels of reviewing America Eats Tavern one-and-a-half weeks into its run, Chris Shott gets all philosophical with a provocative column today about the rules of restaurant reviews — and if those even really exist anymore. Using Graffiato as an example, the City Paper critic takes a shot at the bloggers and Yelpers who make breathless declarations days into a restaurant's opening, such as, "After just one dinner, I can confidently say that Graffiato has not only lived up to all the hype, but has exceeded my expectations."

But he also wonders about the longstanding rule of thumb for professional critics to wait a month before weighing in, especially now that that "[b]logs offer sneak-peak photos of the décor as soon as the dust settles." So he talks to fellow pros Tom Sietsema, Todd Kliman and new Dallas Observer critic Scott Reitz about the rules that they follow and their tactics of staying relevant. It turns out there are not really any rules at all! But still, the general consensus seems to be that, as Reitz notes, "Hammering a place that still in that early phase, with a full-on formal review, is kind of a dick move." Shott agrees and so you will not be reading his thoughts on Graffiato today.
· Critical Distance: The New Rules For Restaurant Reviews—There Are No Rules [WCP]

Graffiato [R. Lopez]