10 ways to identify a good restaurant


As New Year’s Eve approaches, it may strike many as a good time to try out a new restaurant – bring in the new with the new. Here’s an informative list we found at the Amateur Gourmet that may help: 10 Signs You’re in a Good Restaurant. We’ve added a few of our own comments, but also check out the article for more detail:

  • The bathroom is clean (if not, run – don’t walk away, now)
  • A server comes over quickly 
  • The items in the menu are in season 
  • You can hear the other people at your table (we say “amen” to this one)
  • The servers are knowledgable and authentic (we care more about how much they know about the food than learning their name)
  • The restaurant is accomodating, within reason (admittedly “reason” will vary – the restaurant does have our sympathy on this one)
  • The bread and butter are good (and you shouldn’t have to ask for it specially if this is a moderate to expensive restaurant)
  • The food all comes out at once (no one at the table should have to say, “go ahead and eat so it won’t get cold”)
  • The plates are cleared quickly, but not too quickly (everyone should definitely have finished eating – this has become a problem we see way too often, and it’s not rude to tell the server that the table hasn’t finished so come back soon)
  • The little details add up (do you feel caressed when you leave?)

If you have any additional ideas, let us know. And as a thanks to Adam Roberts to lending us this list, check out the indexed recipes and reviews that we have on the site for his new cookbook, Secrets of the Best Chefs.

Post a comment


  • geoff@kupesoftware.com  on  January 16, 2013

    These are the most common ways, indeed. Besides, they work. What I consider important are fresh ingredients, top notch servers and hearing other people at my table.

  • sshieff  on  January 17, 2013

    Smell is important in mid-range and ethnic restaurants especially: if it smells good, fine; if you can smell old oil, fish, or (heaven forbid) the garbage, try elsewhere!

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