The Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) organization has in some ways never been more relevant, both to restaurants and to their patrons. It is a time of potentially confusing dynamics in the fine dining world, as über-star chefs move towards more easily accessible cooking, and decidedly more casual settings, and the virtually global impetus to encourage local and sustainable ingredients often dictates a more laid-back approach to cooking.
That is where DiRoNA plays such an important role, as professional, empirical arbiter of restaurant quality. Membership is strictly regimented, based on a rigorous inspection system that takes into account primarily the food, but also service, decor, wine, and beverages.
2010 Hall of Fame inductee and one of DiRoNA’s directors, chef Pino Posteraro, feels there has never been a better time to make Vancouver and region more active in the organization. To that end, several of its finest restaurants are entering this year, making it possible for both local diners and visitors to the region to find the very finest of dining options.
DiRoNA is not only about white linen and white gloves—more casual restaurants are also part of the equation. The abiding factor is an unwavering commitment to quality, in any of the three categories available: Timeless Traditional, Creative Contemporary, and Legendary Landmark. The inspections are third-party, anonymous, and even after admittance to the organization, inspections must occur every three years for continued membership. It is all in the best interests of diners, who face a sometimes bewildering array of dining options. DiRoNA provides that quantifiable assurance policy: you know you are dining in a great place when their stamp of approval is on the door.
The 2013 DiRoNA conference begins today in Vancouver.