The Dish on Dish

Sometimes the truth sounds too much like an Onion headline: Food Critic's Parents Celebrate Valentine's Day at Pearson's. When I found out that Mom and Dad spent the most romantic evening of the year at a place known for its 1970s decor, Cadilac-driving clientele, and lutefisk suppers, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

As the new Dish columnist, my goal is to help you make decisions on how to spend your dining dollars. When reviewing restaurants, I will always visit three times, sample a range of items across the menu, and give you an honest assessment of how well the restaurant delivers on its promises---not just on the meal itself, but the entire experience, from making the reservation to paying the check. Think of it this way: I spend City Pages' money on lousy meals so you don't have to.

A la Carte columnist James Norton and I will also be interviewing chefs, servers, artisan food-makers, and purveyors to give you more insight into issues and trends affecting how you grocery shop and dine. If you know things you think we'd like to know about---new restaurants, unusual ingredients, people or places overlooked and underappreciated---please, by all means, write and let us know.

With your help, we believe that as knowlegable, scrupulous critics, we can encourage restaurateurs to raise the bar, and challenge them not to just deliver good value, but surprise and delight us. Of course, what pleases us may not please you: Tastes are always, to some extent, subjective. If you disagree, you don't have to heed our advice. Though, next February 14, let's hope my parents do. ---Rachel Hutton, [email protected]

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