Posted 05 October 2001 - 06:23 AM
Posted 05 October 2001 - 06:57 AM
Is this just a brief first run to be follwed by a more in depth review, or is this his usual style? Very odd.
(Edited by Andy Lynes at 3:00 pm on Oct. 5, 2001)
Posted 05 October 2001 - 07:20 AM
I can tell you from personal experience, that getting a mention in the Diner's Journal or a Florence Fabricant column early on is good--it allows you to step up the service and begin to adjust from "preview-mode" to the greater demands that going from 10 covers a night to 140 covers a night presents, seemingly overnight, when you get written up in the Times. Otherwise, you just get slammed, and sometimes never recover.
Posted 05 October 2001 - 07:45 AM
My thoughts: "Diner's Journal" used to serve the purpose of what is now "ษ and Under." It was a place for the reviewer to cover restaurants that perhaps were not worthy of a full review. Now that Mr. Asimov has the "ษ and Under" column, which I think dates to the creation of the separate Wednesday dining section a few years back, "Diner's Journal" has less of a clear mission. I don't really see the point in writing about a restaurant without tipping your hand. Florence Fabricant, after all, writes relatively non-judgmental preview pieces in "Off the Menu." I think "Diner's Journal" was useful when, for example, a new chef came to Marika. There Mr. Grimes used the column to mention that the new chef represented an improvement over the old, but he stopped short of re-reviewing the restuarant (which isn't practical -- or helpful -- every time a new chef appears on the scene). But overall I'd rather see two full reviews a week, or perhaps the creation of a third price-range for coverage.
Posted 05 October 2001 - 07:47 AM
Do we know if he has actually eaten at the restaurant, or was purely an overview of the menu and surroundings based on a look-see.
Posted 05 October 2001 - 08:42 AM
Tamarind got the 409 word Diner's Journal on February 16th and a 1,174 word review on April 4th;
Ilo got the 467 word Diner's Journal mention on June 22nd and a 1579 word full review August 15th;
Thom warranted a 452 word Journal mention on August 3rd and a 1,266 word review on September 26th;
Citarella got a 422 word Journal mention on August 31st and then was fully reviewed this week, October 3rd.
Posted 05 October 2001 - 03:08 PM
Posted 05 October 2001 - 04:27 PM
Posted 05 October 2001 - 07:42 PM
For another record (that I play again and again) I admire Grimes, but, to me, he sometimes writes reviews that are so favorable in the narrative form then he assigns only 2 stars. No doubt, the assignment is akin to grading a student's paper. It's fine, covers all the points, but doesn't have sparkle and doesn't earn an A. Maybe I'm falling for the US inflated standards. Everything has to be 4 stars to be worthy of notice. Grimes may have a point. We need to remember that 2 stars means "very good". And, "very good" is a fine grade.
Posted 06 October 2001 - 06:19 AM
Yvonne--we're at a disadvantage here, since we've been to Citarella and commented on that experience elsewhere, but I too, was severely disappointed to read the extended review "narrative" and conclude with but 2 stars. You rightly point out the discrepancy--I thought Citarella warranted 3 stars on Grimes' own, newly established scale. And it is not that 2 stars is a disappointment--Grimes' pledge to restore meaning to the star system does have merit. It's the grey area between 2 stars and 4 stars that is the real problem in interpretation. In two cases, at least, restaurants (and diners) have been hurt by being lumped into the 2 star catch-all when they've deserved 3: Citarella and Bayard's.
Are there others?