It seems that there is no absolute winner in our poll of the best restaurant in Cork. The top 3 were Cafe Paradiso, Ivory Tower and Le Gourmandises with the same amount of votes. Ristorante Casanova is runner-up and Star Anise is holding place 3.
The question really is; what do we expect from a good restaurant. First of all good food - obviously. But how much are we effected by service, interior, location and other diners? I depend very much on the 'whole' dining experience to be a happy diner and for me to come back to the restaurant. Some people might just want a bite to eat and head their way....do we have different requirements for lunch and dinner?
And what makes a good restaurant...??? How do Michelin Inspectors actually measure the 'Star-Quality' of a restaurant....the Independent asked the same question:
Michelin inspectors visit each premises once every 18 months, unless it is moving up or down the ranks. A star candidate will receive four visits. A two-star restaurant receives 10 visits before becoming a three-star. Inspectors travel over from the Continent to ensure consistency. Visits take place anonymously and Michelin pays the bills. Inspectors are on the road three weeks out of four, staying in a different hotel every night and eating lunch and dinner at a different restaurant every day. They write a report on every meal. On one side of A4, they score service, décor and location, on the other they plot the quality of their meal on a graph. One star denotes very good cooking in its category, two stars denote excellent cooking worth a detour, and three stars represent exceptional cuisine "worth a journey".
Which means really...if the inspector likes the food the restaurant might get a star...I'd love to see one of these report-sheets...just to see how much judgement is left to personal preference. Anyhow....to say it with my nan's wisdom....if you like it and it doesn't kill you - it must be good for you ;-)
So, how much are you influenced by the food critics???? Next poll....let me know what you think.