Since i'm in the industry, I awake each Thursday, eager to read The Blade's restaurant reviews. Over the years, the reviews have gotten better from a writing and dining perspective. However, I'm frustrated by the nearly default 3-star reviews they assign to everything.
Here's the breakdown of ratings in 2013:
In reading the reviews, if you get 2 stars, you really blew it up and down and embarrassed yourselves. I'm not going to even begin to discuss the 5 stars Georgio's or 5th Street pub received, which, I believe, really diminishes the accomplishments of the other 5 star restaurant, Element 112, or the previous year's, Revolution Grille, and Registry Bistro. I know we should all be in the business of promoting the local scene, but does a homogeneous star system benefit anyone? The NY Times, uses only 4 stars, and in their paper, getting A star is a big deal. The list of 3 star restaurants in NY is about the size of ours (link below), but read that list-Grammercy Tavern, Momofuku Siam, Veritas-these are big time restaurants getting 3 stars. Maybe I'm ranting about something that's silly and inconsequential, but isn't 3 stars here sort of like kissing your sister (to steal a quote)? Shouldn't mediocrity be met with an unfavorable review or star assignment?
This isn't a knock on The Blade as an entity, just an observation that frustrates me. There's a Blade thread specific to their other inequities. This, however, is a pretty broken bell curve. If 3 star is indeed the default, I want to see restaurants getting 0 stars and 1 star to legitimize the top. I know this often has more to do with the editor than the reviewer
Here's a link to the entirety of 2013 reviews:
NY Times 3 star restaurants: