Rather than leaving our readers guessing how our narratives about dining experiences, often clouded with anecdotes, should be interpreted in terms of their comparative rankings, we use a rating system to simplify matters.
We use two different symbols to rate our dining experiences. 's are for the more significant meals, usually in the evenings, and 's are for the more casual lunches, snacks and occasional breakfast. Actually, you may see once in a while anx. That means it's off the scale in terms of not being acceptable at all.
In this system, one means "bearable" and indicates "outstanding" - essentially perfect in every respect, such as for a Graycliff http://www.graycliff.com/ in Nassau. Obviously, that covers a rather wide spectrum.
We try to give appropriate consideration to the total dining experience, including ambiance of the setting, quality of service and presentation, but definitely assign the major weight to the food itself. And we do try to balance cost into this subjective evaluation with expectations increasing correspondingly with price. In this respect, exceptionally good food in a clean, pleasant setting and with reasonable cost can earn a restaurant a ranking among what one would normally think to be those offering haute cuisine.
Similarly, the number of 's for less significant dining indicates the relative position in the range, though our criteria are not nearly as rigorous.