Should Cocktail Programs Figure into Restaurant Ratings?

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s food and wine editor and restaurant critic Michael Bauer weighs in on the idea of a separate rating system for a restaurant’s bar program. After writing a review for Alta CA, Bauer got an email from the bartender saying, “…when I was going over your stars and bells ranking, the drinks didn’t receive a fair evaluation against the food and the service… As so much effort is put into so many bar programs, it seems odd that a specific rating wouldn’t be applied.

While the critic considers it a good point—certain restaurants, like Trick Dog and Beretta are largely centered on their reputations for cocktails. He ultimately thinks of the beverages as part of the whole package, saying that a cocktail program is figured into the final rating and is therefore fairly represented. As beverage programs continue to become more and more of a part of a restaurant’s identity, this conversation is sure to evolve. The question is whether it makes more sense to create a separate rating system for a beverage program or do a better job of considering it as part of a restaurant’s merit within the current system. Only time will tell. [SF Gate]