Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by rhubarbd

  1. LOL! Ya think?! (One day i'll get this quote thing down!) I have to say, I'm with him on this one. As a longtime restaurant marketing consultant, I have witnessed firsthand innumerable situations where the client has known that a critic's in the house ... yet been unable to correct problems already set in motion. Yeah, they can always send over a larger portion of whatever, or switch servers in the middle of the meal, but critics are wise enuff to look around the room and see what other diners are getting on their plates, etc. etc. Others have posted to this far more eloquently than i ... but the issue of anonymity has always seemed - to me at least - a lot of hubbub about not too much. It's hard to turn a ship around once it's in the middle of its voyage ...
  2. In light of all the interesting back-and-forth on the value and legitimacy of so-called anonymous restaurant reviewing ... did anyone see yesterday's column by Steve Cuozzo, restaurant critic of The NY Post? Basically, he said he's putting an end to his reviews; that anonymous reviews are an absolute joke and that while the public may not realize it, critics and restaurateurs do. So in the future his column will be a relfection of other issues related to the industry - but he will do no more reviewing. Of course, say what you will about the Post ... (and it's all true!) ... but their food section is lively and sharp and has a definite point of view ...
  3. rhubarbd

    Pegu Club

    True, true...but good PR does help you get small but effective placements in major magazines. It's actually amazing how much of what we consider news and journalism is really PR in disguise... In this case, though, it makes me happy! Plus, i learned all about ice and which kind to use for which drink. Very exciting stuff. Nathan, not only do i know cocktails, but I've followed Audrey, her mentors, and the places she's been affiliated with for years. I did not mean to imply that PR alone was responsible for her success; i was simply asking a question - perhaps too quickly. Audrey is smart, talented, detail-oriented, and business-savvy. She sensed a niche in the marketplace that was right for her and her partners ... and she jumped in with panache and professionalism. She's worked hard to get where she is, and the praise for her abilities is justified. It is equally true - just as Megan posted - that strategic PR helps you get where you want to get ... especially if you have a worthwhile story to tell. And the best restaurateurs/mixologists etc. create a team (from FOH staff to marketing consultants) that understand and appreciate their concept - and do everything it takes to execute it well. And baw - it's not the unending praise for Pegu that's made an impression on me (though kudos to them for carrying it off so well). It's the high-level nature of the placements - in tandem with the praise - that makes all the difference. Hope i've made myself clearer!
  4. rhubarbd

    Pegu Club

    Audrey, i gotta ask: who does your PR? Impressive.
  5. How 'bout the space that was Dmetri's on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair? It's small, used to be a resto, centrally located ...
  6. Had a terrific experience @ Lua recently. Went with three chefs - had tons of cocktails and appetizers - sexy, fun place with enjoyable food. I would skip the entrees and do the same thing again - order lots of apps. Each was more tempting than the next, but i distinctly recall a trio of empanadas that was outstanding.
  7. Yes - we were there recently and had a nice meal. Nothing revolutionary, but good fresh food, large portions, flavorful. An older crowd. I'd say it depends on what you're looking to do and with whom. If you're looking for a quiet restaurant to go to with family members, say, or for a business dinner, Jamie's would be just fine. But if you're looking for a happening scene, cutting edge presentations, etc. i think you'd be disappointed.
  8. [" The fact that they don't serve Spanish specialties on a given night, especially after the customer called and was informed about it, should not be held against them."] Sorry - i don't know how to do the quote thing quite right!! Franky2Times, perhaps you misunderstood my post. We were NOT told over the phone that they weren't serving Spanish food that night; it was after our friends arrived there first that they discovered there was no Spanish food being served. And please keep your snarky comments about "consultant friends looking for new customers" to yourself. Business is thru the roof, thank you very much, and we're not taking on new clients. But back to the case in point! If as you say they are "very good at what [they're] doing, Spanish cuisine with american lunch items" - my friends and i have no problem with that. All i'm saying is - if there's one night of the week you're not serving your special cuisine (and frankly, the cuisine that's gotten them their most positive write-ups), let your customers know in advance - like when i called to make reservations. You don't have to defend their menu for not being pretentious, etc. I am simply saying that as a potential customer, to drive to the restaurant, look for parking and find out that what we came for wasn't being served is kind of weird. It's not a smart business move, that's all. And BTW - talking about not smart business moves - i received a PM from someone who went for lunch, ordered a burger from the chalkboard menu ... and when the bill came, discovered that they charged him $7.25, not the $5.95 that was hand-written on the chalkboard. When this person asked if they'd made a mistake, he was told that their food was flying out the door but they weren't making any money on it, so they had to raise their prices. Again, my point is - that's OK, it's THEIR restaurant - they can do as they like ... but to not let customers know before they order something directly off the chalkboard?? It's just not smart.
  9. This seemed VERY strange to us - anyone else experience it here? We'd been eager to try One 15 for the Spanish food. Called earlier today to see if reservations were required; a very pleasant person told me, no. We were meeting another couple there. En route, the other couple called & told us to pick another restaurant. The chef is off tonight, they were told; no Spanish food available. Huh? Turns out the chef is off Tuesdays and apparently there is no one in the kitchen who knows how to cook from his Spanish menu ... no sous chef, no one ... so all that was available were burgers, cheesesteaks, wraps, and the like. Not what we were interested in eating. Seems like a strange way to run a restaurant - to have the most compelling component of your menu unavailable on the chef's night off! Why not close, rather than confuse your audience? Or teach someone else in the kitchen how to cook?! PS - three out of four of us are in the food/restaurant business as consultants, food writers, current and former operators. Never come across anything as wacky as this in all our (collective) years in the industry ..!
  10. Has anyone been here recently? We had a VERY mixed meal tonight. The place is jumping - what a business they do! Impressive. Service was scattered. We waited an awfully long time for someone to pay attention to our table, and when we tried to get our server's attention to hear the specials, she kinda shouted, I'll be right with you! and went on to do something else. Hard to get refills of water, bread, that sort of thing. The food was mediocre - fish & chips were fine, but what can you really say about f&c? Crunchy, tasty, fish was fresh. One of us ordered the pork chops, which came way overcooked and dry. Another ordered the chicken pot pie, which was topped w/a gorgeous pastry crust ... but when she cut into it, we were appalled to see that the ramekin was maybe 1/3 of the way filled with food! It was a shocking sight - this oversized, fresh-from-the-oven pot pie ... which when you actually looked inside had practically no food in it! And what was in there - a few bits of chicken and mushrooms in a watery white sauce - was kinda tasteless. Desserts - we tried two - were the best part of the meal. My decaf was weak and not worth the $$. Not rushing to return. Don't mean to be harsh, but am i missing something??
  11. [has anyone heard anything about when they might open?] OK - i have never tried to "quote" before, so this will either be a raging success or total disaster !! In any case, they're supposed to be open for a private party on May 11th ...
  12. I did a search, but couldn't seem to come up w/anything. Has anyone been to Restaurant Latour at the Crystal Springs Resort? Recently or not so ...? Thinking about going. Curious about your experiences there.
  13. Christiana i-forget-her-last-name is the lovely woman who owns two restos on the UWS, Cafe Frida and Ronda.
  14. LOVE THIS! Compelling, captivating, delicious, gorgeous. You are gifted indeed. Thank you, Ellen. When i was in Guangdong this summer, our guide told us, "The Guangdong people love to eat so much ... if it's in the air (other than a plane), they'll eat it. If it's in the water (other than a boat), they'll eat it. And if it has four legs (other than a table), they'll eat it!!
  15. Over the years, you've seen a heckuva lot of food & restaurant trends come & go. Which surprised you the most? And what do you see as The Next Big Thing? Miss you on the show, btw!
  16. Holsten's Coffee Chocolate Chip is indeed great - but have you tried their Mint Chip? OMG!!!
  17. FYI - Wood's Dairyland burned down yesterday. Preliminary findings indicate an electrical fire, i believe. Check Baristanet.com for more details. Sad news.
  18. rhubarbd


    Have to say ... Rosie was right! Had a late lunch here today with my husband and a good friend of his who has travelled to Japan ten times. We thought the food was delicious and the service, terrific. Everyone was nice and friendly; very welcoming and eager to be helpful. The shumai were indeed ethereal, and the seaweed salad exceptional. A couple udon dishes, several rolls - all fresh and tasty. Would go back there in a flash ...
  19. rhubarbd


    Several of our clients get a lot of celebs on a regular basis. Believe it or not, The Comfort Diners attract a ton - Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart; Mike Nichols & Diane Sawyer; Ethan Hawke; Michael J. Fox; Don King ... I guess everyone likes comfort/diner food. And Beacon on 56th Street attracts 'em, too. We were there one night when Sarah Ferguson and her retinue came in; the room was electric. Also at Beacon: Woody Allen; Natalie Portman ...
  20. Beacon in midtown on Sunday nights - no corkage fee.
  21. Had an interesting experience at Spice Market last night. Enjoyed much of the meal with the exception of the desserts, which were disturbingly off. A green tea ice cream, for example, with an aftertaste so bitter, it was inedible. But here's the bizarre thing: after sitting at our table for two hours & 10 minutes, desserts had been cleared and one of our party was sipping coffee. A manager came to the table, graciously apologized for having to ask us this, then proceeded to say: "I would like to invite you to finish your evening downstairs in our lounge because I really need this table. I hope you understand; we are so busy" etc. etc. The place was a major scene and incredibly packed, so we said, it's not a problem, we understand; we'll be finished this coffee in a minute to two. We assumed he was about to add on to that, "well, i'd be happy to buy you a drink or coffee downstairs." Instead, he said, "Well, i can have them bring your coffee downstairs, then!!!" We were like, are you kidding? We'll be done in a second; you can bring a bill if you need to so badly - but by the time you move us and our cuppa coffee down that massive flight of stairs, it'd be ice cold! So the meal ended on one heck of an odd note. But when you begin by sitting at the bar, order two cocktails, and already you're in for $30 with tax and tip ...
  22. Anybody ever tasted these? I haven't, but am wondering what they're like - upscale? tasty? Thanks ...
  23. I'm pretty much with Glenn on this one - if a restaurant's open and charging full price, they're fair game; at least, that's how the critics view it. Which is why - as restaurant marketing consultants - we always advise clients to offer a substantial discount to guests during the first two weeks or so. The only way for a restaurant to really shake out is with actual customers on premise, but we all know that invariably, mistakes get made. So by offering something nice (whether it's 20% off on food, or dessert & coffee on the house, whatever), you're saying, in effect, bear with us while we get it all together. Nobody really objects to mistakes being made when it's clear that the house is eager to make things up to you, to show you how gracious they can be while they're in a launch period. What's disturbing to us - as Rosie alluded to - is how quickly critics arrive on the scene, and how rapidly reviews appear in print. In their defense, there's much greater emphasis now than ever before to be the first to review a place, both here and in Manhattan (and probably everywhere else). We have actually had reviews run in major papers while the client is still in "preview" mode - meaning that the critic was there three times within the first two weeks of operation. I don't think that's really fair - either to the restaurant or the reader - but there you have it.
  24. This is a terrific thread! What a hoot ... Quick thing: as a food & restaurant PR person who deals with the NY Post, NY Times, and just about every food writer/critic in NYC, i'd like to make a couple of points: First, there is tremendous pressure on the part of newspaper critics to be the first to review a restaurant, and what used to be a "gentleman's agreement" not to review a place till it had a chance to shake out exists no longer. One of our clients was reviewed by The NY Times while we were still in previews and discounting 15% as a courtesy to our guests! I am not exaggerating - the reviewer came in three times in the first two weeks we were open, and the review ran in either week #3 or 4 (i forget which). RE: the NY Post - hey, the politics of the paper scare me, too - but the bottom line is, it's a very important newspaper with impressive increases in circulation in the last 12 months. And BTW - a huge chunk of the serious dining public reads "Page 6" and Steve Cuozzo's reviews - especially Wall Streeters who are still spending $$$ in NYC restaurants. Page 6 is such a powerful draw, in fact, that we have clients who say - i'm less interested in being reviewed by Bill Grimes than in being in "Page 6" four times a year! And finally - The Daily News reviewed Rocco's last week, well before Cuozzo's review came out. Did anyone see it? Their critic found it to be much better than she'd expected.
  25. Can anyone recommend a favorite market to purchase fish - locally caught or otherwise? Especially around the shore. Someone asked for suggestions the other day and i really didn't know of any ... Thanks!
  • Create New...