Author: Alan Rust
I have been described as a ‘foodie’ but I don’t claim that title since I don’t have the culinary expertise needed. I definitely enjoy trying new taste creations. However, it takes more than a flavorful dish to convince me that a new venue is worth a repeat visit. I consider 4 things when I evaluate a dining experience.
The MENU has to have options that are intriguing yet understandable. When a server has to explain everything it doesn’t create a comfortable start to the experience. There are also some places that have menu overload; too many options isn’t a good thing.
The SERVICE needs to be sincere, friendly and attentive. The staff should be able to answer any questions you have about the menu. They should be genuinely glad that you are sharing the dining experience together. They should be ready to help you when you are ready but not bother you too much so you feel rushed. This is true for the ordering, dining and closing phases.
There should be solid DRINK choices. I always value an establishment that offers hand crafted cocktails, craft brew options and an appropriate wine selection. This is another section that can have too few or too many options. The drink options should balance with the food menu options. It is very common at this point to expect a bartender at a restaurant to be able to make some classic off menu cocktails as well as have wine recommendations.
The FOOD should be delicious and prepared as described on the menu. We all expect it to arrive at the table at the appropriate temperature. This is the star of the show so it should be presented well.
I appreciate and reward venues that can accomplish all 4 components of a great dining experience. These are the strengths that we look for in the restaurants we include in the Missouri Tour Company Culinary Tours>