Monday, April 3, 2017

Rant: Respect For Older Restaurants

New restaurants get the lion's share of publicity from food writers and restaurant reviewers. There often is a rush to be the first to review a new spot and you can usually see the same, new place reviewed by multiple writers within a short time period. As new restaurants continue opening at a steady pace, these writers don't lack for new subjects for their reviews. However, what happens to older restaurants, including those that have been around 5, 10 or even 20 years? Do they receive sufficient attention, if any?

Many of these older restaurants were reviewed years ago but often haven't received an updated review in a long time. During the years, restaurants can change, from major expansions to menu updates. Some of these places can decline in quality while others continue to provide the same high quality as always. The older restaurants, which are still worthy, deserve attention too and that can be difficult to obtain. For example, printed periodicals, with limited space, generally feel they must review primarily new restaurants. Bloggers have more flexibility and thus can give more attention to older restaurants.

I raised this issue back in 2014 and it came to mind again over this past weekend. On Saturday, Patrick Maguire, of I'm Your Server Not Your Servant, posted on Facebook, offering a Challenge to "list Boston area restaurants that have stood the test of time (15 year minimum) that you genuinely love, appreciate, respect, and to state why, devoid of any selfish motive." His post has received a large, and growing, number of responses, giving love to those older, worthy restaurants which may not often receive sufficient attention from food writers. And as the list grows, it is fascinating to see the number of restaurants which actually have stood the test of time, lasting at least 15 years. That is a huge accomplishment in the restaurant industry.

I added some of my own selections, including Troquet on South, Prezza, Taberna de Haro, Tampopo, and Bistro 5. I also agree with most of the other restaurants mentioned in the thread. More restaurants will likely be added to this thread and it is becoming a fine resource for people to learn about some of the best restaurants in the Boston area which have matured well over the years. These restaurants have survived so long for a reason and they should receive some attention from time to time, to ensure people don't forget them.

Every month, a significant number of restaurants close, indicative of the toughness of the restaurant industry. Those that can survive the test of time often deserve our respect and attention, and we need to ensure they are not forgotten. We need to write more about these older restaurants, to continue to highlight their quality. Any worthy writer can find an angle concerning these older restaurants. Don't just be dazzled by the new, restaurants that might not even survive a year.

Which Boston area restaurants, which are over 15 years old, do you especially love?

1 comment:

Frederick Wright said...

I'd have to say Tapeo in Back Bay, where I've never gotten a bad meal in all the many years I've been dining there. I'll also add Lucky's Lounge, and EVOO. At each of these places, I consistently get more than just a great meal, I feel fresh, energized hospitality. No one is just going thru the motions.