Top 10 Things to Expect When Dining With a Restaurant Critic
First of all, I should thank Josh, who sent me a link to a blog called Under the High Chair. I'm stealing the idea for this Top 10 post from it, although the list isn't the same as it would be if you were dining with a food blogger.Everyone wants to go reviewing with a restaurant critic, I'm not sure why. I guess it's partly to see how the process works and partly to get free food. And maybe partly to have a story to dine out on. The reality is, as you might expect, that the companion doesn't have quite so much fun as people think. ...
1) When you get to the restaurant, the critic will always get the best seat that has the best view of the dining room.
2) If you order too much alcohol or your drinks are very expensive, the restaurant critic will look daggers at you. Especially as she has to keep a clear head, which means severely limiting her intake.
3) If you get into a fascinating conversation with the other dinner guests before you've ordered, you will be sharply reprimanded for not staying "on task."
4) If you really want to be accommodating and you say, "I'll have anything" when asked what you want, she'll roll her eyes and you won't be invited back because you're not being helpful.
5) If you want to be helpful so you immediately speak up and say, "I'll have the calamari and the chicken marengo," you won't be invited back because you're pushy and demanding.
6) If you care too much about food and love, love, love fried oysters, your heart will be broken. She'll catch on and won't let you order them every time because she gets tired of describing the "crisp, gold exterior."
7) You want the delicious-sounding rib eye steak. The restaurant critic tells you that's too boring and you need to order the house specialty, Caribbean meat loaf with pineapple-tarragon salsa.
8) You love going on reviews but you're trying to watch your weight, so you say you'd like to order the house salad as a first course. She tells you salads are forbidden as a first course. You can order the cream of crab bisque with whipped cream and a house salad, but a salad by itself doesn't count as an appetizer.
9) You have the most delicious piece of grouper with a beurre blanc you've ever tasted in front of you. You would kill to eat this dish in peace. The restaurant critic insists you give a large chunk of it to her to taste, and also to share it with the other guests at the table since they are happy to give you a piece of their Caribbean meat loaf.
10) You are stuffed. Almost sick. You didn't mean to eat the whole thing. The restaurant critic informs you pleasantly that you can't not order dessert. No, it can't be the seasonal berries or the sorbet. It has to be the fried cheesecake with bananas Foster topping. You don't have to eat it, right? You can just take one bite and let her taste it? The server will ask you if you want a to-go box.
(Amy Davis/Sun photographer)