Why I Hate the DMN’s Star Ratings: Reason Number 6,432

Star System: Eeny meeny miny moe...
Star System: Eeny meeny miny moe…

I’ve expressed my opinion on the DMN‘s star rating system too many times to count. In case you care: You can find one here and another here.  I’ve even suggested a reasonably quick fix to making the system more meaningful.

I read Leslie Brenner’s reviews. Sometimes my skin crawls and my eyes burn after I try to relate the number of negative (or positive) comments to the number of stars. There should be a direct correlation. I also feel price point should not be a determining factor when handing out stars.

And that is why today I am taking a shot at Brenner’s co-reviewer, Mark Vamos. He writes a glowing review of Marc Cassel’s 20 Feet Seafood Joint and then slaps on two wimpy stars.

He writes:

The lobster roll:  “honest roll to please a cranky Yankee.” (What more could you ask for in one?)

Oysters: “Bluepoint oysters on the half shell, served over ice. They’re briny and meaty — and, don’t hate me, so much better raw than our gulf oysters — and perfect with just a spritz of lemon.” (I don’t hate you. You’re right. But how can you use the word perfect anywhere in a two-star review?)

Other bites: “fine Mexican shrimp cocktail” “his justly praised Green Room mussels” “fish and chips are another unpretentious offering” (And you paid what for all of this goodness? Shouldn’t that count as a positive?)

I don’t have any connection to Marc Cassel or 20 Feet or Mark Vamos. It’s just that his review woke up dark dragon of anger that has been asleep in my brain. Mark, I’d love to hear how you arrived at two stars. Email lines are open. Operators are standing by. Except for Carol. She’s in Taiwan. Eating ramen. Like the pork belly ramen made by Marc Cassel.