I think we're talking past each other. I'm not particularly concerned with whether Daniel's saucing is better in the skybox - it was merely the first familiar to all here example that popped into my head of a restaurant that likely has a different sauce prep for each dish but gets criticized for serving "uninteresting food". Look at my Jean Georges example followed by marauder's comment - each plate has its own sauce which, presumably, has its own sauce preparation. Contrast that with what's been described in this thread earlier, outside of the ultra high end, where sauces are built off a limited number of base stocks and are substantially similar "one or two steps removed from the finished product". The sheer variety in the sauces at a high end place versus something lower on the totem is pretty astonishing - the more unique preparations you have, and the more consistently the kitchen can churn out those unique preparations, the more impressive a restaurant is. The ability to identify that, across the menu and with consistency of quality, each sauce involves its own personal presentation from nearly the base up takes multiple visits. Do you think most recent critics are up to even that task?
My knowledge of Daniel's kitchen is extremely dated but I can tell you that about 10 years ago they were using one of two base stocks for all meat entrees.
I think you're trying to sell a sort of blank slate theory of restaurant kitchens - if a restaurant offers preparations A, B, C, D, ..., Z that are distinct from the ground up then a critic needs to try all of them, whereas if it has offers the same preparations that are all based on basic preparations a, b, c, d, e then a critic only needs to try a handful? No, a good kitchen is a good kitchen and a bad one is a bad one
You can get lucky (or unlucky) but you don't need to try each and every dish to see problems or genius.