OpenTable has truly revolutionized the world of dining out, making it far easier to secure restaurant reservations and eliminating the restaurant-side errors in handling them. Its site interacts with thousands of diners a week in the Twin Cities, and post-meal, OpenTable now queries users about their experience.
Those surveys are tabulated to form the new Diners Choice rankings of local restaurants, currently in beta testing. OpenTable says it receives 200,000 forms each month (globally) but doesn’t list the number of votes individual restaurants received, an important bit of context. OpenTable’s Twin Cities Top 10 is a generally credible list of fine dining and heritage restaurants, but it has several wild outliers, which raises some curious questions about the process.
I personally don’t think The Lexington is the fifth best restaurant in the region. It has a strong local following and a beloved bar. But I would only recommend it within some very narrow criteria.
More puzzling: Rossi’s Steakhouse ranked number four regionally. I ate a wide-ranging meal at Rossi’s a few weeks ago with some colleagues. It’s a charming space, but the service was amateurish, and the food was borderline inedible. If the recipe wasn’t deeply flawed, the execution was. And prices are top-drawer.
Cruise to OpenTable’s steak rankings, and Porterhouse in Little Canada comes in at number one. Buona Sera in Champlin is second only to D’Amico Cucina in Italian dining, and Porterhouse and Lake Elmo Inn are the top restaurants in the “Minneapolis suburbs,