According to Ruth Reichl good reviews (whether food, travel, books or art) prepare the reader for the experience and the most important rule is to review what they are trying to do, not what you wish they were doing.
Food reviews should:
- capture the essence of the restaurant year-round (rather than your specific visit)
- be written in present tense
- provide critical assessment and advice (gentle criticism, which is fair and accurate, is fine and judgements need to be justified)
- have a hook – a punching opening sentence to create a mental picture
- flow logically (e.g. interior design to crowd to food to drinks)
- contain fresh phrases and avoid clichés
- describe the food – at least two or three examples of dishes – as specific and detailed as possible.