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Mussina

Bruni moves on . . .

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Any guesses who will be next?

If Bill Keller really means everything he wrote in that farewell love-letter, then presumably they'll be looking for someone just like Bruni. That means it will be someone no one could have predicted—a "food fan" who has practically no history of writing about restaurants.

Almost by definition, if they pick someone predictable, it will mean they are not trying to duplicate their achievement with Bruni.

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Big news! I grew to admire Bruni as a writer if not so much as a food critic. This will be interesting. I do not know of an obvious choice, esp. as the Times appears to like the illusion of the food critic as anonymous diner. Too bad for Marea.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Big news! I grew to admire Bruni as a writer if not so much as a food critic. This will be interesting. I do not know of an obvious choice, esp. as the Times appears to like the illusion of the food critic as anonymous diner.
Leaving aside whether it's an illusion (I do not think it is), that is more-or-less the standard not just at the Times, but at many major publications that review restaurants.
Too bad for Marea.

There's probably just enough time for Bruni to review it, if he wants to.

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Big news! I grew to admire Bruni as a writer if not so much as a food critic. This will be interesting. I do not know of an obvious choice, esp. as the Times appears to like the illusion of the food critic as anonymous diner.
Leaving aside whether it's an illusion (I do not think it is), that is more-or-less the standard not just at the Times, but at many major publications that review restaurants.
Too bad for Marea.

There's probably just enough time for Bruni to review it, if he wants to.

I used the term illusion because too many restaurants were aware when Bruni or other food critics are in the house so they generally don't dine anonymously anyway. That may not necessarily be the case for a blogger or the critic of a smaller publication. I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference anyway.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Big news! I grew to admire Bruni as a writer if not so much as a food critic. This will be interesting. I do not know of an obvious choice, esp. as the Times appears to like the illusion of the food critic as anonymous diner.
Leaving aside whether it's an illusion (I do not think it is), that is more-or-less the standard not just at the Times, but at many major publications that review restaurants.

I used the term illusion because too many restaurants were aware when Bruni or other food critics are in the house so they generally don't dine anonymously anyway. That may not necessarily be the case for a blogger or the critic of a smaller publication. I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference anyway.

The conventional wisdom is that Bruni was recognized around 2/3rds of the time. If you figure that he visited each restaurant at least 3 times before reviewing, it means that the average restaurant had one truly anonymous visit. Of course, that encompasses a wide range, from places like Katz's deli, where he may have been anonymous every time; to places like Daniel or Le Bernardin, where he may never have been.

Even the 2/3rds figure (or whatever the percentage is) means that at some point during the visit he eventually was recognized. It is not necessarily the instant he walks in the door, and in most cases they probably do not know in advance that he is coming. Bruni once wrote that during his meals, he often senses a moment, as if a bell had been rung, when everything changes—the moment when they suddenly figure out who he is.

I would say, therefore, that at most restaurants, some portion of his overall experience occurs before he is recognized. And therefore, he is able to fulfill the objective of anonymity, which is to write about how the restaurant treats its non-critic guests.


Edited by oakapple (log)

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Big news! I grew to admire Bruni as a writer if not so much as a food critic. This will be interesting. I do not know of an obvious choice, esp. as the Times appears to like the illusion of the food critic as anonymous diner.
Leaving aside whether it's an illusion (I do not think it is), that is more-or-less the standard not just at the Times, but at many major publications that review restaurants.

I used the term illusion because too many restaurants were aware when Bruni or other food critics are in the house so they generally don't dine anonymously anyway. That may not necessarily be the case for a blogger or the critic of a smaller publication. I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference anyway.

The conventional wisdom is that Bruni was recognized around 2/3rds of the time. If you figure that he visited each restaurant at least 3 times before reviewing, it means that the average restaurant had one truly anonymous visit. Of course, that encompasses a wide range, from places like Katz's deli, where he may have been anonymous every time; to places like Daniel or Le Bernardin, where he may never have been.

Even the 2/3rds figure (or whatever the percentage is) means that at some point during the visit he eventually was recognized. It is not necessarily the instant he walks in the door, and in most cases they probably do not know in advance that he is coming. Bruni once wrote that during his meals, he often senses a moment, as if a bell had been rung, when everything changes—the moment when they suddenly figure out who he is.

I would say, therefore, that at most restaurants, some portion of his overall experience occurs before he is recognized. And therefore, he is able to fulfill the objective of anonymity, which is to write about how the restaurant treats its non-critic guests.

Good points, but that was probably more likely to be true earlier in his tenure than recently. It may also be more likely that he may not have been recognized so frequently in more established restaurants that may not have been looking out for him, but then how often did he write about those restaurants? However, I seriously doubt, in the last year or two especially, that he was not very quickly recognized in any new, previously unreviewed restaurants that would definitely have been looking out for him.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The 'secrecy' of restaurant reviewers' identities is an anachronism in 2009. Only reason to do it is to pretend that somehow your being there is so important that you have to go undercover. It is a conceit of big-time media restaurant reviewers, and will soon die a quiet, deserved, death. However, Bruni should be encouraged to continue reviewing restaurants, but perhaps as his recent alter-ego, Ms. Frannie Von Furstinshow. He can even go to all the restaurants in drag if he wants.

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I think all this business about Bruni issuing an eleventh-hour legacy 4-star review is utter silliness. The likelihood of this would have been exponentially higher:

(a) Had Bruni not wasted a four-star review on Daniel (January 21, 2009), and

(b) If there wasn't a serious lack in compelling or convincing candidates eligible for four-stars at the moment. All of the usual suspects have already been awarded four stars, and the few other likely candidates have been eliminated and dismissed in Bruni's fire-side chats and fairly recent reviews.

Can anyone here, in good conscience, name a restaurant in New York City (other than the reigning four-star restaurants) that fits the New York Times four-star mold? I can think of only one: Eleven Madison Park. But Bruni seems reluctant. Then there's Bouley, the most recently speculated-about contender. But, as we know, it blew its chance (and given my latest visit in March, I think Bruni was too generous in awarding it three stars).

I've not been to momofuku ko. Given Bruni's momo-love, you find me arguing that it's not the most likely candidate. But what would justify a re-review so soon? What has changed that would warrant such a rapid promotion? It's heavily spiked, but I don't think the Kool-Aid is quite *that* strong.

Now, I know that Bruni has arguably modified the mold (some would say destroyed it), but do you really see the stars aligning for any restaurant currently open in the city? (Even now, Marea seems to be the heir apparent.)

In my opinion, Eater got caught up in the tee vee sweepsmania and is just trying to stir the pot.

Of course, I've had to eat plenty of my own words. And I may just have to between now and August.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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In my opinion, Eater got caught up in the tee vee sweepsmania and is just trying to stir the pot.

To an extent, the "horse race" is what Eater is about. The basic premise (that Bruni wants that four-star rush one more time) seems to me sound, though I am not at all sure Bruni will in fact find a four-star-worthy restaurant between now and August.

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In my opinion, Eater got caught up in the tee vee sweepsmania and is just trying to stir the pot.

To an extent, the "horse race" is what Eater is about. The basic premise (that Bruni wants that four-star rush one more time) seems to me sound, though I am not at all sure Bruni will in fact find a four-star-worthy restaurant between now and August.

Let me help him: Eleven Madison Park.

But I agree with your assessment (as I alluded to above in my post), Bruni has made it abundantly clear that it doesn't pass his smell test.

As for Del Posto, I didn't even address that one because I think it's utterly unworthy (to me, anyway).

If anything, it seems Bruni got trigger happy and wasted a perfectly fine shot on Daniel. And he seemed to apologize for it all the way through the piece.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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If you notice, the trend has been for the NYT critic to move away from the traditional French/haute cuisine model. It's almost as if restaurant reviewing has become more "democratic" in a sense. You want to involve people more, and you also want to involve as wide a range of your audience as possible.

A four star review pretty much negates that premise which is why I think Frankypants won't go out in a blaze of glory. He's already left his indelible stamp on things. I'm pretty sure he's just doing it for sheer enjoyment now. I know I would if I were in his shoes.

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If you notice, the trend has been for the NYT critic to move away from the traditional French/haute cuisine model.  It's almost as if restaurant reviewing has become more "democratic" in a sense.  You want to involve people more, and you also want to involve as wide a range of your audience as possible.

A four star review pretty much negates that premise which is why I think Frankypants won't go out in a blaze of glory.  He's already left his indelible stamp on things.  I'm pretty sure he's just doing it for sheer enjoyment now.  I know I would if I were in his shoes.

I think that somewhat over-simplifies what Frank Bruni has done. It's true that he has "stretched" the fine dining model downward, giving stars to places like Second Avenue Deli and Fatty Crab that were traditionally $25 & Under restaurants, and awarding three stars to untraditional places like Ssäm Bar and Bar Room at the Modern.

But there are two things he has not done. He hasn't hesitated to give full recognition to traditional "French model" restaurants when he believed food warranted it (Corton, EMP, Bouley). And he hasn't yet awarded four stars to anything other than a conventional luxury restaurant, either in the French or (in Masa's case) Japanese model.

So Frank clearly does not believe that recognizing these traditional luxury restaurants in any way negates the premise of his tenure, which is that luxury matters less than it used to.

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Look, whether or not Bruni gives another place four stars, the important thing to remember is that the Times has a chance to break away from their previous cluster of reviewers and to hire someone who will carry them through the next few years on the internet. Unfortunatley, I don't think they will do that. I believe they will hire another non-food writer, like Bruni, probably a woman this time (or Bruni in drag, as I previously mentioned), and create the fake controversy they did when they hired FB. That has lasted with him to this day, and the Times is not about to change their playbook, no matter how musty or old.

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These aren't really the right times for a new 4* to be anointed even if one existed, which is all the more unlikely because of the investment necessary to achieve the traditional trappings. The only way one can be designated is by changing the paradigm, which I don't really see happening, because the implications for too many other restaurants are too great.

He might like to "go out with a blaze of glory," but he will have to stretch to do it, given the constraints that he has already put upon himself. Marea may be the one wild card, depending upon how well it lives up to its hype.

Another option for Bruni would be to take away a star from a current 4*, though I think that is just as unlikely as finding another 4*.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Another option for Bruni would be to take away a star from a current 4*, though I think that is just as unlikely as finding another 4*.

Again, I maintain that he had, and lost, his chance there with Daniel.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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Another option for Bruni would be to take away a star from a current 4*, though I think that is just as unlikely as finding another 4*.
Again, I maintain that he had, and lost, his chance there with Daniel.

My person star-gazing theory is that demoting Daniel would have raised existential questions that Bruni did not want to face. The historical number of four-star restaurants has always been around 5-6, and there are currently 5. He demoted Bouley and ADNY so that he could put Per Se and Masa in their place. To demote Daniel, he needed a replacement and didn't have one. I am quite sure that if another "Per Se" (or a place of that ilk) had opened in the meantime, Daniel wouldn't have kept the fourth star.

The meaning of four stars is supposed to be "extraordinary." There are many things that could mean, and it is not frozen for all time: Peter Luger once had four stars. The chance Bruni has so far squandered is the opportunity to put his stamp on the four-star category, the way he has with all the others. In a city of 20,000 restaurants, something is extraordinary. It need not be precisely the same kind of place that was considered extraordinary in the past—though so far, Bruni has seemed to think it did.

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Another option for Bruni would be to take away a star from a current 4*, though I think that is just as unlikely as finding another 4*.
Again, I maintain that he had, and lost, his chance there with Daniel.

My person star-gazing theory is that demoting Daniel would have raised existential questions that Bruni did not want to face.

Exactly.

The rest of your star-gazing is inconsequential to me, regardless of how true it may be. I never (alas) went to ADNY, so I cannot comment there. However, given my experience at the old Bouley, I don't think that a demerit was unwarranted, despite the two others waiting "on queue."


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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This is a great opportunity for the Gray Lady to grow a Colbert-sized pair and scrap ho-hum traditional restaurant reviews in favor of a more comprehensive evaluation of a restaurant.

NY restaurants appear to have an excellent intelligence network that quickly gets a pic of a reviewer on the wall of the kitchen or server's station. I've never been back stage at Daniel but imagine a wall, akin to the old FBI wanted poster walls at the post office, showing full face and profile views of every reviewer of import.

Yet publications and their reviewers stress the importance of a reviewer's anonymity. If reviewers are identified so quickly and if Bruni's 2/3rds recognition factor is valid, are not many/most restaurant reviews, by their own standard of anonymity, tainted when the reviewer is recognized? Once recognized the reviewer will surely receive favorable treatment. Why else would everyone stress anonymity so? And is it not inevitable that most reviewers will sooner or later be identifiable by most restaurants - at least most high-end restaurants?

I favor the hanging-out approach to the traditional anonymous restaurant meal(s) re-digestion. Let the writer spend a day or two at the restaurant - talking with the chef, the owner, the maitre d', servers, cooks, apprentices and more. Get a feel for the capabilities of the kitchen - everything from imagination to craft to sanitation. Eat a few meals in the dining room. Perhaps talk with a few diners on their way out.

Who will better predict a diner's experience? Someone who has eaten two or three maybe anonymous meals at a place or someone known to be a reviewer who has eaten two or three meals and spent a day or more watching prep, turnout and service, and talking with the staff?


Edited by Holly Moore (log)

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This is a great opportunity for the Gray Lady to grow a Colbert-sized pair and scrap ho-hum traditional restaurant reviews in favor of a more comprehensive evaluation of a restaurant.
What you've described is not an evaluation, but a puff piece.
If reviewers are identified so quickly and if Bruni's 2/3rds recognition factor is valid, are not many/most restaurant reviews, by their own standard of anonymity, tainted when the reviewer is recognized?  Once recognized the reviewer will surely receive favorable treatment.
If you believe the review is tainted once the reviewer is recognized (which I don't), then he'll be extra-tainted when he does this:
I favor the hanging-out approach to the traditional anonymous restaurant meal(s) re-digestion.  Let the writer spend a day or two at the restaurant - talking with the chef, the owner, the maitre d', servers, cooks, apprentices and more.  Get a feel for the capabilities of the kitchen - everything from imagination to craft to sanitation.  Eat a few meals in the dining room.  Perhaps talk with a few diners on their way out.
Who will better predict a diner's experience? Someone who has eaten two or three maybe anonymous meals at a place or someone known to be a reviewer who has eaten two or three meals and spent a day or more watching prep, turnout and service, and talking with the staff?

It's no contest. The former. The latter approach might produce some interesting feature articles, but there's a 100% guarantee that the average diner will never be able to duplicate that experience.

Bruni's current approach may have its flaws, but at least it's not 100% flawed, as this one is.


Edited by oakapple (log)

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This is a great opportunity for the Gray Lady to grow a Colbert-sized pair and scrap ho-hum traditional restaurant reviews in favor of a more comprehensive evaluation of a restaurant.
What you've described is not an evaluation, but a puff piece.
If reviewers are identified so quickly and if Bruni's 2/3rds recognition factor is valid, are not many/most restaurant reviews, by their own standard of anonymity, tainted when the reviewer is recognized?  Once recognized the reviewer will surely receive favorable treatment.
If you believe the review is tainted once the reviewer is recognized (which I don't), then he'll be extra-tainted when he does this:
I favor the hanging-out approach to the traditional anonymous restaurant meal(s) re-digestion.  Let the writer spend a day or two at the restaurant - talking with the chef, the owner, the maitre d', servers, cooks, apprentices and more.  Get a feel for the capabilities of the kitchen - everything from imagination to craft to sanitation.  Eat a few meals in the dining room.  Perhaps talk with a few diners on their way out.
Who will better predict a diner's experience? Someone who has eaten two or three maybe anonymous meals at a place or someone known to be a reviewer who has eaten two or three meals and spent a day or more watching prep, turnout and service, and talking with the staff?

It's no contest. The former. The latter approach might produce some interesting feature articles, but there's a 100% guarantee that the average diner will never be able to duplicate that experience.

Bruni's current approach may have its flaws, but at least it's not 100% flawed, as this one is.

I'm with oakapple. That approach would dash any last hopes of an objective review and end up conferring the most favorable words on the ones who are best at spinning a good PR yarn and being a "people person". I can't tell you the number of restaurants I've been to with admirable and impressive intentions and ambitions that simply didn't make interesting food. There are quite a few in this town already. Not to mention the fact that the sort of approach described would result in many of the top restos in town being Chodorow joints. If there's anyone in town whose words taste better than his food on average, it's the Chod.

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This is a great opportunity for the Gray Lady to grow a Colbert-sized pair and scrap ho-hum traditional restaurant reviews in favor of a more comprehensive evaluation of a restaurant.
What you've described is not an evaluation, but a puff piece.

Totally depends on the writer. I assume the New York Times would not assign a writer who does puff pieces to such a position.

If reviewers are identified so quickly and if Bruni's 2/3rds recognition factor is valid, are not many/most restaurant reviews, by their own standard of anonymity, tainted when the reviewer is recognized?  Once recognized the reviewer will surely receive favorable treatment.
If you believe the review is tainted once the reviewer is recognized (which I don't), then he'll be extra-tainted when he does this:

It is not that I believe the review is tainted it is that the publications believe so, hence their focus on anonymity.

I favor the hanging-out approach to the traditional anonymous restaurant meal(s) re-digestion.  Let the writer spend a day or two at the restaurant - talking with the chef, the owner, the maitre d', servers, cooks, apprentices and more.  Get a feel for the capabilities of the kitchen - everything from imagination to craft to sanitation.  Eat a few meals in the dining room.  Perhaps talk with a few diners on their way out.
Who will better predict a diner's experience? Someone who has eaten two or three maybe anonymous meals at a place or someone known to be a reviewer who has eaten two or three meals and spent a day or more watching prep, turnout and service, and talking with the staff?

It's no contest. The former. The latter approach might produce some interesting feature articles, but there's a 100% guarantee that the average diner will never be able to duplicate that experience.

The reviewer uses his experience at a restaurant to predict the experience of his readers. Put a writer who knows front and back of the house into such a situation and he will have far better information upon which to base his prediction. I'd trust Bourdain's opinion following what I propose far more than that of any reviewer who has merely had a couple of meals at a place.

Bruni's current approach may have its flaws, but at least it's not 100% flawed, as this one is.

We appear to disagree "100%" as to which approach is flawed.


Holly Moore

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This is a great opportunity for the Gray Lady to grow a Colbert-sized pair and scrap ho-hum traditional restaurant reviews in favor of a more comprehensive evaluation of a restaurant.
What you've described is not an evaluation, but a puff piece.
If reviewers are identified so quickly and if Bruni's 2/3rds recognition factor is valid, are not many/most restaurant reviews, by their own standard of anonymity, tainted when the reviewer is recognized?  Once recognized the reviewer will surely receive favorable treatment.
If you believe the review is tainted once the reviewer is recognized (which I don't), then he'll be extra-tainted when he does this:
I favor the hanging-out approach to the traditional anonymous restaurant meal(s) re-digestion.  Let the writer spend a day or two at the restaurant - talking with the chef, the owner, the maitre d', servers, cooks, apprentices and more.  Get a feel for the capabilities of the kitchen - everything from imagination to craft to sanitation.  Eat a few meals in the dining room.  Perhaps talk with a few diners on their way out.
Who will better predict a diner's experience? Someone who has eaten two or three maybe anonymous meals at a place or someone known to be a reviewer who has eaten two or three meals and spent a day or more watching prep, turnout and service, and talking with the staff?

It's no contest. The former. The latter approach might produce some interesting feature articles, but there's a 100% guarantee that the average diner will never be able to duplicate that experience.

Bruni's current approach may have its flaws, but at least it's not 100% flawed, as this one is.

I'm with oakapple. That approach would dash any last hopes of an objective review and end up conferring the most favorable words on the ones who are best at spinning a good PR yarn and being a "people person". I can't tell you the number of restaurants I've been to with admirable and impressive intentions and ambitions that simply didn't make interesting food. There are quite a few in this town already. Not to mention the fact that the sort of approach described would result in many of the top restos in town being Chodorow joints. If there's anyone in town whose words taste better than his food on average, it's the Chod.

I'm with Holly. How does what I present, written by a New York Times caliber writer, lose any hope of objectivity? Anyone who knows restaurants will relate a far more objective experience if he has spent time in the kitchen and the dining room as opposed to merely sitting at a table and eating.

The assumption that a good writer can not sift through a restaurant owner's BS is invalid.


Holly Moore

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It is too bad the New York Times Corp is under such financial pressure, because it would be a very interesting exercise for them to take both approaches and see how they do over time. I'm not really aware of anyone doing it quite the way Holly describes. The closest that I can think of is John Mariani, but he is quite controversial.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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It is too bad the New York Times Corp is under such financial pressure, because it would be a very interesting exercise for them to take both approaches and see how they do over time. I'm not really aware of anyone doing it quite the way Holly describes. The closest that I can think of is John Mariani, but he is quite controversial.

I agree that it would be a fascinating experiment, but as you say, until that happens we have only the examples that exist, despite their limitations.

Mariani is actually a great example of the pitfalls of the above-stated approach. Even if you don't have an issue with his alleged behavior (which I personally don't), I've read many a glowing account from him about the skills and special qualities of a kitchen, the enviable sources of their ingredients, and the gentility of a restaurant owner's hospitality only to be disappointed by the food on my own visit. Sometimes a good sell job DOES influence how the diner perceives the food, regardless of professionalism. Tastes aside, it's pretty clear that Mariani raves about many spots that are consensus flubs among the food community and doesn't hesitate to issue a take-down on those that are less hospitable to inspection and visitation from the press. He is clearly frequently taken in by a restaurateur's or chef's patter and hospitality, as are most of us, if the patter is skillful enough.

To suggest that any writer could be so impervious to good showmanship and verbal/visual "selling" of a restaurants merits that he/she can't be biased is simply unrealistic in terms of human nature, especially if the system invites that. There is no way to avoid having some benefit going to the nicer folks and some penalty levied on the nasty ones, even if the nasty ones are the best cooks. To suggest otherwise does a very real disservice to the front-of-house skills of some of the best restaurateurs. And most food readers want to find out the place that has the best food, thus the success of Chang et al.

That's not to say that there isn't a benefit to having some behind the scenes intel or information about how the restaurant conducts itself inside the kitchen. I just don't believe that the transparent "review and tour" system suggested would be the right way to get that information. Maybe a different person could do all of that on behalf of the reviewer AFTER the review meals had already been conducted (and some publications already do that).

Without a somewhat anonymous system, how would we ever have learned that Le Cirque in the old days famously coddled their VIPs while snubbing the average visitor? We wouldn't. And no amount of touring their kitchen with Sirio would have uncovered this fact.

If you want a better predictor of what the AVERAGE diner will experience on visiting the restaurant than what the current system provides, the best way to do that is to either increase the requisite number of anonymous visits a critic must make before writing a review, or to employ more than one qualified reviewer to compose each piece.

Getting the grand tour or any other form of the "restaurant's side of things" makes for good television, but I still don't see how it can predict the quality of the food rather than the ambitions of the chef and owner. And sympathy for what the kitchen is up against only works against the objectivity of whether or not they can provide a great meal. We might as well tell scientists that they should simply ask their rats how the experiment is going.


Edited by LPShanet (log)

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