Recently a friend and i were arguing over the merits of smaller cute restaurants, more specifically we were debating if Tartine was worth checking out. While i love to go anywhere from fine dining destination spots to hype driven people watching places, i really enjoy the experience one only can have in a small charming place where the staff cares about the food. Having said that, i was hoping that the hounds could provide me with a little help.
While the definition of "gem" varies greatly among people, what i consider to be a gem is a place that food is consistently solid, the staff is pleasant and is interest in food, and there is that unquantifiable element that gives the restaurant a certain charm. Basically a place you could go on any given night with any type of person and be certain that you will have a great and hassle free night.
Some of the places that i consider to be gems, given that i love the WV, places there are heavily represented:
Blue Ribbon Bakery: don't know if its counts as a gem given how many people know about it, but there isn't a place in the city where i have consistently had better meals at.