Zagat recently published a list of what they call “Telltale Signs of a Good Restaurant. I plodded through the sideshow, apparently, Zagat thinks readers need to see pictures of things like ice, soap and napkins.
These are the things Zagat “super users” look for to spot a good restaurant.
1. Your napkin gets folded every time you leave the table.
At a fine dining restaurant, this is a typical service standard. Your server wows you time and time again with the adroitly executed two peacocks copulating fold. That’s great showmanship, and it shows that the server has been trained to attend to detail, and probably knows many napkin folds. Two peacocks copulating doesn’t necessarily mean that my steak is going to be served at the proper temperature.
2. The bathroom is stocked with expensive soap.
This is what it is, and you’re paying for it. If you’re basing your dining decision on soap, you’re probably not reading this because you’re at the doctor getting your meds adjusted.
3. The joint – haha, Zagat said “joint” – serves designer ice in its cocktails.
I don’t even know what designer ice is. Can I do a tasting? Bring me a flight of ices, please.
4. Coat Check is actually used.
And its used at wedding halls and convention centers.
5. The butter is the perfect temperature.
6. You receive new silverware with each course
7. The bread is served warm
These are service standards that I really appreciate, so I can’t snark on these three, except Zagat gives extra points if the restaurant has a roving “bread sommelier”
Here’s a definition of sommelier from Wikipedia:
A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role is more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.
The people who write “Portlandia” must have hacked into the Zagat.com server.
8. The menu is in all lowercase type.
This, according to Zagat “super users” means that you’re dining at one of those hip and trendy joints -again with the joint- that is concerned about using top-notch ingredients.
SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP. Hip and trendy means they’re concerned about PR and young beautiful people who need to be seen not eating.
9. Your meal begins with an amuse bouche.
I’m not amused
10. Server offers you another dish when they see you are displeased.
Duh. If you’re not happy with your entree, you should be offered something else. If you’re not, pelt the server with your designer ice.