What makes a great restaurant review? A story that paints a complete picture of the diner's experience from start to finish, for sure. An account of the atmosphere of the restaurant (or café, or stand, or truck, for that matter), absolutely. But most importantly, a great restaurant review shows the reader how the food tasted and invites them to share in the experience of the meal.
Over the course of 2011, The Daily Meal's staff and contributors have shared accounts of the meals that they've had, and we've sifted through them all to bring together a collection of the particularly notable ones. Of course, this was no easy task, as there were a lot of reviews to choose from.
GutterGourmet, a TDM special contributor, travelled to Old Forge, Pa., a city that claims to be the "Pizza Capital of America," where he was pleasantly surprised to discover a regional pie style unique to this industrial town outside of Scranton. Meanwhile, TDM Cook editor, Yasmin Fahr, delighted in tasting the best fried chicken she's ever had, from a local New Orleans mainstay called Coop's Place.
The best reviews of this year span the spectrum of price point, cuisine, location, and age. From checking out one of the year's hottest new restaurant openings in Boston, Bondir, to experiencing a moment of childhood bliss at Fratelli Pizzeria Cafe, 2011 was a notable year for dining out.
Think you've got the chops to contribute a restaurant review of your own? Well go ahead and start writing for us.