Two discussions of the recently-opened Ligurian eatery Rocca on Chowhound have raised an interesting issue. At what point is it fair to stop chalking up issues with service and/or food to the kinks that are expected when opening a restaurant? Rocca’s reception on Chowhound has been decidedly mixed with some enjoying the “simple, satisfying” food and others frustrated by the “extremely small” portions and “atrocious” service. Regardless of whether these criticisms are true or not, is it fair to give a restaurant a permanent evaluation based on an experience within its first few weeks of operation?
Chowhound opinion seems to be sharply divided. Chowhounder MC Slim JB writes “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: anyone going to a new fine-dining place (especially a 200-seat one) in its first six to eight weeks of operation should expect a lot of screwups that won’t necessarily be representative of the post-shakedown-cruise experience.” ‘Hounder tatamagouche agrees that “you can’t make an entirely fair, objective call from an early visit, but you can decide *something*, something mostly subjective–whether the mood and the food speak to you personally.”
It’s a fascinating debate. We tend to come down on the side that says that you can’t tell much until a few weeks in (which is why we were a little mystified to see Rocca, which opened on April 25, reviewed in the Dig this past week), but there’s definitely something to the other side of the argument as well. What do you think?