Our rating system

Tallahassee Table has just three ratings for the restaurants we review…

Neighborhood fare  *

Worth the drive * *

One of the best * * *

Yes, we know dining is much more complicated than that. The arts of growing, preparing, serving and consuming food have as many nuances as the number of people who eat.

Also, your dining experience obviously can be influenced by a host of factors, including who you’re with, location, other diners, time of day, the seasons, lighting, sound levels, temperature, your mood, the equipment the chef is using, alcohol, price, value, and more, more, more. The presence of so many factors, and all of them variable, all of them in degrees, can add up to a great, good, average, indifferent or bad experience.

But we (my husband and I) think it’s mostly the food, with the extra and often critical spices of ambiance and service. Tasty food and friendly service can add up to something wonderful, even if you’re standing outside a food truck or hot dog stand batting mosquitoes. Stellar service and a captivating setting may not mean as much if the food’s just so-so – or they may help even out the blah part.

See? So many nuances and combinations, it can get complicated, and very subjective very quickly.

So we’re trying to keep it simple. Food, service and setting. How do they combine, or not, to make you feel? Is it worth shelling out your dining dollars here?

We’ve been writing professionally about food and dining for a while, and we’ve learned a few things. But we’ve always tried to avoid getting snooty about it. We just like to eat, and write about it. (By the way, we dine anonymously and pay our way.)

We’re hoping to establish some broad but tested guidelines and, with consistency, we hope they’ll help us all to make good decisions about where and what to eat and drink in the Capital City and beyond.

We will also always remember that however we rate a dining experience, it’s just our opinion. You have yours, too. Let’s compare. And let’s eat.