A chef once told me, "You're only as good as your last plate." Restaurants forever get one chance to execute properly. That single dish that's off, in our new digital era, might inspire a cruel tweet or Facebook post, a bad Yelp or Urbanspoon review, or locally, a negative reader's review on our website.
If that off dish happens to hit when critics are visiting, the word-of-mouth impact can be even greater. Consistency matters, and most all of us have experienced a subtle or striking difference between yesterday and today at a frequented eatery. It happens. Often.
That in mind, who knows if these 275 or so restaurant descriptions I wrote over the last month will still apply tomorrow? Things change constantly in kitchens and dining rooms; my experience may not be like yours.
But now that I'm done advocating for the devil: We're pretty confident that Bites is as accurate as it gets, for at least this particular moment in time. I've culled information from our dining team's most recent visits; reader-generated, 2011 Indy Best Of votes; reader reviews and comments on our website, and outside websites; Facebook and Twitter pages; and finally, calls to chefs, owners and staff members.
So this is it, a collection of well-rounded snapshots of the independent eateries (and a few small chains) that we believe deserve a visit. I've focused on the high points and general gist; but for more in-depth descriptions, you can find full reviews for most of the featured restaurants inside our archives.
In our new organizational approach, you'll find a table of contents up front, teasing a main listing body organized by cuisine type. In the listings, one dollar sign means entrées sold in the $5-to-$10 range; two signs, in the $10-to-$20 range; and three signs, $20 and up.
Spread throughout, you'll find Bryce Crawford's interviews with influential people on our food front, for their take on how the Springs rates today.
As always, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if we've left out one of your favorite spots. Otherwise, get to the eatin'.Click here for the entire Bites 2012 Table of Contents!