I kept my silence when Dallas Observer critic, Hanna Raskin, ripped Horne and Dekker a new grease trap. My first few visits to H&D weren’t the greatest dining experiences of my life, but when I was fact checking my review, I learned Raskin was not only recognized during her review dinners, her two dinners took place on the eighth and 14th days of the restaurant’s existence. I felt she jumped them pretty quick. Whatever. I guess she wants to be first.
However, I have to call foul on Raskin Andrea Grimes and the Dallas Observer for naming The Green Room “Best New Restaurant” in their annual “Best of Dallas 2010” issue that hit the stands today. Why? The restaurant, which re-opened on August 9 and was famous for its Feed Me/Wine Me program, doesn’t have a wine list or a liquor license yet. Whoever wrote the blurb based the award on “soft-opening samples of quail, pork tenderloins and spinach salads.” They go one step further to say “Trust master chef Joel Harloff with a “Feed Me/Wine Me” tasting menu.” (I can’t link to the actual piece because the new issue is not online yet.)
I believe a restaurant is fair game once it starts charging full prices. However, I also feel that in some cases, if a reviewer is instinctive about the erratic food and service, it is prudent to play the scene out for a few weeks to follow their path of improvement (or non-improvement). Especially when veteran restaurateurs are involved in the project.
So, dear Dishers, what do you think? How long should a restaurant reviewer wait before publishing a restaurant review?