I missed posting last week but got a few interesting questions so I’m going to revisit.
CoastBuote hit the Humani T cafe, with mixed results. I find it interesting that it appears from the article that she only made one trip. I never wrote anything negative unless I had visited a place at least twice, because I believe that anyone can have a bad day. On the other hand, it speaks to the importance of consistency to an eatery–you never do know who’s eating what you’re making.
Unless, apparently, you are HeraldSpurr. He revisited Cocoa Pesto Bistro in Windsor, again. Which brings me to a reader comment. Spurr is a features writer for the Herald, and didn’t start as the food critic, and so is not always going to be anonymous. In the years that I reviewed, I was only made twice, to my knowledge, and both were because former coworkers turned out to be my servers. So how does this affect the reviewer’s experience?  Well, to be sure, the service will probably be more attentive, and anything in the kitchen prepared a la minute might even be better. My philosophy was to ensure that I ordered something that involved pre-preparation. Something that had to be made well before dinner service (for example, a slow braised dish) so that there was no way for the kitchen to dress it up just for me.  And I very rarely reviewed places where I knew the chef really well, and certainly not more than once. But all critics have their own styles, and in a town as small as Halifax (indeed, a province as small as NS) it’s hard to be completely incognito.