How to choose a restaurant? Here are the expert’s adviceFebruary 25, 2019
In the era of Master Chef, when the chefs have become stars and everywhere we talk about cooking, restaurants and food, we need to stop for a moment and try to go back to the basics. For example, how do I choose a restaurant? Who do I trust, the reviews of Tripadvisor where a sandwich barini becomes the best place in Milan (it happened at the end of August), the historic restaurant guides, from Michelin to Touring, the word of mouth of friends? And how can I tell if a restaurant is not just about design but also about the latest fashion?
Many questions that Gianni Mura , a sports journalist from Repubblica, tried to answer, but also (and in this capacity, above all) for years writer (critic is too much, he says) of restaurants on the Friday of the Republic. He did it ” There is no taste, everything you should know before choosing a restaurant” , published by Minimum fax. Here is our interview.
In an era where everywhere we talk about cooking, chefs and restaurants, where did the idea for this book come from?
I thought about talking about the world of cooking differently just because I lived on my skin as a restaurant writer – critic is a bit ‘too – this moment of total confusion. There is talk of cooking everywhere, but nobody who drives with common sense and helps to make choices, all recommend dishes and addresses. So I thought about writing something that could give clues to judge the seriousness of the place before choosing it. Today we have too much information, all discordant and we lose sight of the basics. I tried to get back to the base.
We judge from the menu. If, for example, prices are not expressed this is not good, I consciously have to know how much a cheese and pepper costs me. If then the dishes are accompanied by too many adjectives of fashion, as crispy, lukewarm and tasty this is not good either. The omnipresence of rocket, which was a fashion now a few years ago, is not good. Today my enemy is the pineapple carpaccio. The pineapple is made to be cut into large, chewed slices. If you present it with this aspect of yellowish bresaola, drowned in its liquid then we are not there.
And besides the menu?
Some places today are too much design: there are knives standing alone and forks that do not allow you to roll up two spaghetti. And then this fashion of not putting the tablecloths, is a bit ‘too minimalist, where I support things, on the bare table? It is also a hygienic question.
Other things that can not stand?
The music too high that prevents two people sitting at the same table to talk. But also that the waiters when you enter first ask: did you book? First greetings, then ask. Education is the basis. Like the cleaning of the environment and that of the bathrooms. But unfortunately when you get to the baths, which are a sore spot in Italy, it’s often too late: you’ve already sat down.