I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of stars, as people who write about food often do. The only one giving stars is Rick Nelson from the Strib. I love Rick’s writing, I generally agree with his assessments of restaurants, but I’m pretty sure the concept of what makes a 4-star restaurant worth 4 stars is outdated. My own prior assessment is outdated.
I used to think a 4-star had to have a proper host stand, valet parking as an option, more than 2 single-stall bathrooms, and a certain level of formal service. 4-stars means top of the top. But what do you do when a fast-casual restaurant is perfection? That automatically gets dinged to a 3-star because it’s not formal. And that means it’s a half-star away from the 2 1/2 star restaurants, which essentially are the “eh, it’s ok” spots.
I’ve been working on my own list, I’ll publish in a separate post.
Here’s a starting point from Rick: 4-star reviews from Rick Nelson in the Star Tribune.
- Restaurant Alma: 2017 review
- Spoon and Stable, 2015
- Brasserie Zentral, 2014
- Heyday, 2014
- Travail, 2014
- Burch Steak & Pizza Bar, 2013
- Butcher & The Boar, 2012
- Bachelor Farmer, 2011
- Meritage, 2011
- Bar La Grassa, 2009
Those are the 4-stars. Now let’s look at the recent 3 1/2 stars:
- Young Joni, 2017
- St. Genevieve, 2017
- Upton 43, 2016
- Revival, 2015
- Saint Dinette, 2015
- Surly Tap Room, 2015
- Monello, 2015
I’d add my own top tier restaurants to this list:
- Corner Table
- Strip Club Meat & Fish (closing in July)
What about Brasa? Is that 4 stars? How about Mucci’s? World Street Kitchen? What would you put as your 4-star? I’ll publish my list next week.