I have a short attention span, and I get bored very quickly. The reason I prefer tasting menus is that I have been known to lose interest in the middle of a dish, so the fact that a restaurant serves large portions does not hold a great deal of allure to me. I love small plates restaurants and tapas bars, where I can snack on different tastes to my heart's content, without the formality that is often involved with a tasting menu. While I appreciate the production and performance of formal dining, I also like variety. As long as the food is good, I am just as happy eating at a street cart or at a white-tablecloth-with-sommeliers-and-multiple servers-type restaurant, and everything in between.
So what does all this mean?
I eat out frequently, whether I am home or on the road, and I am generally unlikely to visit any eatery more than once (with the exception of fast food places, which is more a function of time and convenience as opposed to preference). This is not to say that the un-italicized restaurants are not worth going back to (although that is true in some cases) or that I have never gone back to some of those restaurants. Rather, the places I have italicized are the ones that have stood out in some meaningful way from the others, whether because of a single memorable dish that I crave tasting again or because the chef's creativity holds something that draws me back.
Finally, for the sake of accuracy, I have not italicized any restaurants that have either closed or changed chefs since I last dined there, even if my last experience there would have merited italics.