In a recent thread one of our regular Italian board contributors hinted that some of the restaurants listed in the Gambero Rosso restaurant guide have deliberately changed their style in order to improve their ratings.
The thread was about a restaurant in Turin which I hadn't eaten at, but looking at their website, appeared somewhat technical, nuova cucina (nouvelle cuisine in French) as opposed to the more traditional and rustic style of trattorie and osterie beloved of "foodies" who travel to Italy (and of course traditional fine dining restaurants".
I used as a comparison a recent BBC "Master Chef" competition in which one of the finalists mashed up fresh peas and then squeezed the mash drop by drop into liquid nitrogen to reassemble the peas (the panel of distinguished diners were NOT impressed), which launched a passionate response about restaurants pushing the boundary in order to get a 3-fork (90 plus point) rating from Gambero Rosso. Reminds me of the movie "Mondodelvino" in which the consultant shows wineries how to get a 90+ rating from Robert Parker for their wines).
I am curious about different opinions on the subject . I hasten to add that we have an old copy of Gambero Rosso left by guests and we buy a new Slow Food Osterie Guide every 4-5 years or so, but don't live by them. They are useful sometimes if you are going to a new place, but we write almost exclusively about Piedmont which has been our home for 10 years and only for restaurants that we personally have been to.