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Jan 9, 2009 08:18 AM

Shelf Life For Reviews And Posts

How far back can one go to look at posts or reviews of restaurants and still maintain some sense of accuracy? I know it probably changes based on restaurant, owners etc, but does anyone have a rule of thumb?


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  1. Like so many things in life, it doesn't matter if you read it with discernment - not 'is it true?' but 'in what way is it true?'

    I would certainly want a very contemporary review before deciding whether to visit a place, but an older review can tell about the 'arc' of the place: whether it was it different in the past, what it was like when the founder's intent was fresh, what a broad range of people appreciated most about it, and what impression those things add up to.

    That can give important clues as to whether the place hass learned from the past, corrected mistakes, kept up with the times, or is headed downhill or is living in the past. (Don't you worry when you walk up to the front door, and all the rave reviews posted in the window are 10 or more years old?)

    For a first stab, I'd say a contemporary review should be no more than 9 to 12 months old.

    1. agree completely with the 'arc' aspect of reviews. They tell a story.

      as for an up to date review, I like mine to be 6mo. or newer. Where I live, most of the menus are seasonal/local ingredient driven. A review of a places early summer menu doesnt do me much good in december!