The Three R's - Rules, Ratings, Restaurant Selection

DP8 Rules of Restauranteering (unchanged since inception) - XX - one rules change in May 2021, see below)

1. The establishment must have a liquor license, or some other satisfactory arrangement made.

2. The restaurant should not be more than an hour's trip from the 'starting point', unless the remaining diners are complicit.

3. Reservations must be able to be made, unless all agree to some other circumstance.

4. Preference is given to individually owned restaurants, and must be more than 'red neck' hangouts or other holes-in-the-woods. Chain restaurants are acceptable if only one or two are available in our hour circle.

5. A potential expense of more than $75 per person should be noted before, if possible.

6. Food aversions are to be considered -- curry, salmon, Mexican, and wild game. Alternatives are so likely that these aversions can probably be reconnoitered.

7. Ken must have coffee.

Other rules to be made as needed.

Dinner Party of Eight's rating system uses 8 as a top grade, mostly because there are eight of us. Each rater is entitled to his/her own system. The average of all those attending is the number on that dinner’s Review Page.
                Typically, emphasis is on food, then service, then ambiance, and, for some, value. Personal likes play a role, as will other quirks, idiosyncrasies, and anomalies encountered that evening.
                Any rating system appearing in other places (Times-Union, for example) is an approximation of the group's average.

Restaurant Selection
Where to go? 
          Each couple, in rotating order, chooses a place (keeping the rules in mind). The hosting of a brief appetizer pre-session at the selectors' residence is an option. So off we go, with the other three couples not knowing where we are going. Trying to guess, or read minds, or trick someone into telling us is one of our topics of discussion. Whose pick is indicated on the Chronology page.
          Exceptions: About a third of our picks are group picks. This includes Christmas (traditionally, at the Karnes'); a close-to-home winter pick; a summertime date that is held at an agreed upon water-side restaurant or is hosted by one of the couples, or any other idea that catches our fancy.
          Occasionally, the group repeats a choice. Until 2009, George Mann Tory, Bears, Fernwood were the only repeats. In 2009, to celebrate our 80th dinner, we chose to repeat eight past selections. These included: American Hotel, Christman’s, Reginato Ristorante, Mill Rock, Baba Louie’s, Mountain View Brasserie, Last Chance, Stockade Inn, and George Mann Tory Tavern. And any couple can select a repeat visit.

DP8 Rules/Preferences Changes - as of May 2021

--After 15 months of take-out or no meeting, we resumed at the Shamrock House. Time to ponder changes over 19 years and preferences. The changes:
--Travel time shortened to 45 minutes, with a strong preference of 30 minutes. More than 45 minutes needs agreement by the group.
--Separate checks preferred
--No more scoring
--Destination may or may not be a surprise - the choice left to the selector of restaurant
--More emphasis on "value food"
--Cancellation of a month if four or fewer DP8ers are available. Particulary vulnerable are "snowbird" months