Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:13 AM
When reviewing a restaurant, are you invited, or do you go incognito? Or does it go on the expense account?
What are your ideas on restaurant reviewers who announce themselves beforehand, eat free, then are expected to do favorable reviews? And those who do it anonymously?
Posted 15 October 2003 - 10:34 AM
That said, the policy at the Times is that we pay for our own meals, that the critics go incognito (well, as much as possible ... to the extent they make reservations in different names and pay with credit cards issued in different names).
I have always follows this practice myself, but this does get tricky. A long time ago Michel Richard got mad at me because he never sent me a bill so I always left what he considered to be an extravagent tip for the staff. "This is my home and you don't pay to eat at my home!" he said. So I made one exception: if a chef has eaten dinner at my house, then I won't demand a check at his restaurant. Predictably, this is limited to only a handful of people.
Most restaurant don't seem to have a problem sending me a check. There are a few that do and it is hard to figure out what to do. Balancing my professional life and friendship is a tricky proposition. I don't want to take advantage of a situation, but I don't want to be rude, either. When I eat at one very famous restaurant that I'm not going to name because I'm beginning to feel like a name-dropper for mentioning it so often, the chef refuses to send a check. He's been a friend for a long time. He used to write for me. I do two things to make up: one, I send him occasional gifts of things I think he might like: books, music, whatever. two, he has a secret food vice (nothing illegal) and before dinner I always hand over an abundant supply of it. Three, I always leave a couple hundred dollars per person as a tip. I know it's not as much as I would have spent had I been a civilian, but it makes me feel like I'm not taking advantage.
Posted 16 October 2003 - 05:42 AM
Posted 16 October 2003 - 10:05 AM