Obituaries

I Let TikTok Tell Me Where to Eat. Here’s What I Learned.

TikTok is many things: a place for slime videos, a free therapy session, the leading source of information in America right now, and, for some, the ultimate restaurant resource. With a properly tuned algorithm, TikTok can become a never-ending scroll of rhythmic recommendations from critics of varying reliability, many of whom have been paid by restaurants for their P.R.-approved opinions.

How trustworthy are their suggestions, really? And what can a diner expect from these spots, when videos have promised them perfect vibes, hot singles and even religious enlightenment? To find out, I spent hours on TikTok, going down a digital rabbit hole of restaurant videos, then dined for a week at the whim of my For You Page.

‘New York’s hottest new restaurant’

Meduza Mediterrania

Thistle Swann and Jacob Cummings, who met on Hinge, put their faith in the internet once more to choose their anniversary dinner locale.

“I just looked up ‘fancy restaurants’ on TikTok,” Mr. Cummings said. “I don’t know anything about fancy culture, but I could tell by looking at the place that it was dummy fancy.”

That’s how the couple, both 25, found themselves below a huge fake tree sprouting from the middle of the dining room at Meduza Mediterrania, a clubstaurant in the meatpacking district with a strict dress code (no sweatpants, shorts or jerseys) and a pricey raw bar.

Meduza’s website calls it “a dining experience that takes you on a journey to a world of sunlit coasts, sparkling waters and vibrant culture.” I didn’t find any geographic marvels, but I was surprised to find the food (shiso tzatziki, lamb chops with chimichurri, wagyu kafta) terrific.

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