Hook debuts restaurant review column

This week we have a special treat for all you foodophiles–real restaurant reviews! That's right. If you pick up the Hook you'll find our new The Eater column, which is in the capable hands of veteran teacher, writer, rock and roller, and foodie Ned Oldham. As far as we can tell, its been a long time since any media outlet offered restaurant reviews in this town; remarkable, considering the fact that we've apparently become a foodie paradise. Well, all thats gonna change, folks. First up, Maya on West Main. Next? Well, we haven't decided yet. Any ideas?


I'd love to see reviews of some of the newer restaurants in town (e.g., The Local, Ventana) as compared to some similar established favorites (e.g., South Street, La Cocina del Sol).


Thanks for the comment...though I should say that one of our rules of thumb is to give a new restaurant some time to get their act together. Here's what the Association of Food Journalists says...what do you think?

New Restaurants
To be fair to new restaurants, reviewers should wait at least one month after the restaurant starts serving before visiting. These few weeks give the fledgling enterprise some time to get organized. If, however, a restaurant must be visited because of timeliness, enormous reader interest or journalistic competitiveness, consider offering readers "first impressions." This piece should be more descriptive than critical, avoid labeling it as a review if possible. The emphasis of such a sneak preview could be on the fledgling restaurant's clientele, its decor and maybe the chef's background rather than a blow-by-blow account of the menu (though food would, of course, be mentioned.)

Will the reviewer eat at a restaurant multiple times before writing a review? (Or, at the very least, let us know how many times he ate at a restaurant before writing the review.)

I think reviews are a great idea and something that's been lacking in Charlottesville.


Yes, the reviewer eats twice at the restaurant. Its pretty clear in the review.

Great bit at the beginning of the review about your methods. The first one is great; this looks like a terrific resource. Good work!

dave, I wrote my comment after this notice about the new reviews to come but before the review was up/out. Two visits to Maya seems entirely sufficient though I was also pleased to see "at least two visits" suggesting that if more than two are necessary to do a good job, then they'll do it.

One note - Maya's fish doesn't stink!

Another woman's opinion-- I love their grits and their collard greens!

I just wanted to say that I was really excited to see that Maya was reviewed--it's not only a great spot to eat, but also a great bar! The writer did a good job talking about the food, though it seems that the the anonymity cost him some precious information, like their whip cream being homemade etc. Overall, I think that this is an excellent addition to the Hook's repertoire and a bold move, and in the future I hope that the new writer works to ask as many questions as possible while eating over making any inference, and to check and double check that the information (like the hours) are correct. Thanks again for opening up this door!

Maya is one of the best restaurants in town--and the patio is AWESOME!!

It's about time there was a restaurant reviewer in town my only question is what qualifies him as a reviewer? There are very few people in this town whose restraunt opinions I trust why should I trust your reviewers? Thanks

PS I love the oysters at MAYA

PACO, is there anything other than reading some of his reviews and seeing if you trust his palette and take on restaurants that would let you know whether you should trust him? It doesn't really matter what his background is; the question is whether he can be consistent, informative and fair.

Maya Enthusiast: Whether the cream is whipped at the restaurant doesn't mean much if it tastes like canned.

I wanna show you something,

best of the best it is,