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Feb 23, 2013 09:57 PM

NYTimes reviews of suburban restaurants

The NY Times, on Sundays, has restaurant reviews for suburban areas. Their categories are New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut.

For quite awhile, the categories were something really superlative, Worth It, Ok, and Don't Bother (I think I remember this correctly). Then, a few weeks ago, with no notice, the categories changed to something really superlative (haven't seen that rating, so I don't know what it is), Very Good, Good, Fair and maybe they have Poor. This is in contrast to the NYC restaurants, which are rated by stars.

Today's there is a combined review for NJ and Westchester--at least, that's the header. But the restaurant is in neither NJ nor in Westchester. It's in Rockland County, quite near to NJ and across a toll bridge from southwestern Westchester.

The reviewer was pretty grumpy while also enjoying most of her food, but that's a separate issue. Either Westchester is a category or it isn't. There certainly are enough restaurants to review one a week. And, it not, that's okay. Change the header. And all of NJ (the reviewers frequently go pretty far south into the state) certainly can cough up a review a week!

Plus, what's with the ratings? Any chance we could learn what these ratings actually mean anyway? A rubric, perhaps?

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  1. There's also LI reviews. Today I saw the change in category, with Excellent replacing Don't Miss, Very Good replacing Worth It, etc. Doesn't matter to me...6 of one, half dozen of another.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EricMM

      How would you feel if the "LI Review" was of a place in NJ? Or something on the LI Sound in CT?

      (not arguing)

      Also, why the change in categories without even mentioning why? And, if a change, why not go to the same system the newspaper uses for Manhattan restaurants?

    2. Rockland is easily accessible to both Westchester and NJ .. why get bent out of shape. If anything Rockland should probably get more coverage, and given the limited resources papers have these days including a review and targeting it to two contiguous areas makes a lot of sense.

      Also did the editor or writers change? Was there any explanation given as to the reason for the change? Frankly if the review is well written, you don't worry about the rating and rely upon the review itself.. boiling down something to a single number is certainly reductionist and leaves no room for nuance... Extending the scale certainly makes some sense.

      I buy an out of town NY Times.. don't get any of the local sections.. so have not noticed a change.