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Rating Standards for Restaurants

At off the vine we use a simple 0 to 20 point scale for food, service and vibe along with a entree price range. We look to list exceptional dining establishments that show passion in their pursuit of quality, superb flavor, creativity, presentation and consistency.

We review restaurants that strive to exceed expectations on several levels. For this reason we will rarely list a restaurant with a food rating below 11 points. At times, we might review a place with great food and average service, or maybe a spot with a less than stellar decor; however, it is our sincere intent to recommend excellent restaurants which we would be proud to send our own family, our friends and our subscribers. We look forward to bringing you places that offer a wonderful “off the vine” dining experience! 

What we look for:
1. Great ingredients, sustainably farmed, organic and locally sourced when possible
2. Taste, flavor, seasonality and consistency  
3. Creativity, presentation, style and innovation
4. A thoughtful wine list, a range of price points, an excellent by the glass program
5. A knowledgeable, personable, trained and professional staff
6. Interior design and comfort, light and lighting, acoustics and table setting - is it theatre?
7. Spotless public areas, and an organized kitchen
8. Pricing that is for the most part understandable

(0 to 20)    Food…  Service…  Vibe…

0 to 3:      
4 to 7:       desperate 
8 to 10:     moving up - average - well prepared
11 to 15:   recommended! - reward and pleasure here
16 to 17:   we love it! - excellent - putting it all together
18 to 20:   outstanding, food for a god or goddess - what we dream about!

Entree Price Range

$ = $10 or less 
$$ = $10 to $15 
$$$ = $15 to $20 
$$$$ = $20 +

* Please note that off the vine will list and bring to your attention many fun and rewarding dinning and eating venues that will not receive a formal point scale review. Many great spots will not meet the strict standards for set for a formal review. Many will be judged by a quick visit or small plate meal and a short first impression. These places may include: expresso bar’s, deli’s, local icons, bar’s and pubs, wine bar’s and burger joints, ice cream parlors, pizza places, taquerias, coffee shops and breakfast only restaurants, fish and chip shops, hot dog carts, take out, delivery and the like. These are places we feel are worthy of inclusion by offering great eating, drinking or single dish pleasure or reward.