The biases of restaurant reviewers


The Crowds vs. the Critics

Recently, Michelin—which describes as “the European tire maker that publishes what could be the world’s most recognized guide for dining out”— released its annual list of New York’s best restaurants. Based on assessments by a group of anonymous expert “inspectors,” the tire maker turned fine-dining arbiter assigns between one and three stars (one for “a very good restaurant in its category”; two for “excellent cuisine, worth a detour”; three for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”) to any restaurant deemed worthy in a given year. (John Colapinto wrote a story for The New Yorker about the inspection process in 2009.) Think of Michelin stars as the restaurant Oscars: eagerly anticipated, highly influential, and hotly disputed. ….[READ]


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