Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Gill Review of the Week


Recommended Posts

Even our own funny guys, Morrison, Maw and "Daddy-A" failed to see the humour in it.

I saw the humour, but failed to find it amusing. :wink:

Hell, I was just lumped in with the likes of Maw and Morrison! Red-letter day for me!

A.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did someone start a thread on Gill some well respected food critics on this thread have queried, and not on them? Obviously, the association with the Globe and Mail gives her clout, deserved or not. But, I think people read her not because they necessarily trust her qualifications as a food critic but for the reason that her personality shines through in her written entries. For example, her very cruel cut-up of Connor Butler may not be without some worthy points but when she warned Butler to pay heed to westsider tastes (aesthetic tastes, moreover), her classist roots shone through (that she is, as someone point out, from Etobicoke, makes all the more sense therefore--ie petit bourgeois ambitions) and turned her slag into content that regularly consumes the readers of London newspapers, from The Telegraph to News of the World. Afterall, in many ways, Butler was an easy target for Gill, someone who obviously refuses to discard his straw hat for a toque when photographed. Her aim was to cut him down to size before all other considerations, and that aspect of her review transcended whatever criticisms she held about the restaurant and which I found the most troubling, however appealing to read.

Edited by Kloom (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Why did someone start a thread on Gill some well respected food critics on this thread have queried, and not on them?  Obviously, the association with the Globe and Mail gives her clout, deserved or not.  But, I think people read her not because they necessarily trust her qualifications as a food critic but for the reason that her personality shines through in her written entries.  For example, her very cruel cut-up of Connor Butler may not be without some worthy points but when she warned Butler to pay heed to westsider tastes (aesthetic tastes, moreover), her classist roots shone through (that she is, as someone point out, from Etobicoke, makes all the more sense therefore--ie petit bourgeois ambitions) and turned her slag into content that regularly consumes the readers of London newspapers, from The Telegraph to News of the World.  Afterall, in many ways, Butler was an easy target for Gill, someone who obviously refuses to discard his straw hat for a toque when photographed.  Her aim was to cut him down to size before all other considerations, and that aspect of her review transcended whatever criticisms she held about the restaurant and which I found the most troubling, however appealing to read.

FWIW, I'm not exactly sure what your point is, but the A A Gill under discussion in this thread is Ms. Alexandra Gill of The Globe and Mail, not the Mr. A A Gill of London papers.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

Link to post
Share on other sites
Her aim was to cut him down to size before all other considerations, and that aspect of her review transcended whatever criticisms she held about the restaurant and which I found the most troubling, however appealing to read.

Agreed, her track record speaks for itself, but do you know this for a fact?

I still find it ammusing the assumption we have that all food writers should be reviewing for the altruistic "good of the dining public." Last I checked, the goal of most publications is sales. Libel aside, pretty much anything that generates sales is fair game in the reviewers world.

Taste is subjective, so I'm not sure how a restaurant reviewer can help me decide if I'll like a dish or not. Ultimately I have to go and taste it for myself, right? So other than letting me know a given restaurant exists, I'm not sure what role the reviewer plays, apart from entertainment.

Do we judge movie reviewers or sports writers as harshly?

A.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know, it seems for most movies the market is a lot larger. So, one bad review really doesn't have the same impact. So, if say, Alexandra Gill gives Fantastic Four a bad review (which she should, that movie was absolutely miserable), it might affect ticket sales a little in Vancouver, but probably not the overall numbers to as much of an extent. But for a small restaurant in Vancouver, the impact would be more direct.

That's not to say movie critics aren't judged pretty harshly. If you google a major movie critic, say Lisa Schwarzbaum for instance, you'll see a lot of people have problems with the things she says. Or in the sports world, take Stephen A. Smith. Pretty much everyone hates him. Not to imply that I don't like Lisa Schwazerbaum - I think she's fantastic and most people do. Her example was more to imply that even the good ones get criticized.

The important thing to note with Gill is that she's to restaurant reviewing what Michael Jordan is to restaurant reviewing. And by that I mean she doesn't really review restaurants as much as she presents one-shot restaurant experiences; and if you treat her columns as such, they might, possibly, in some lights, one day, have some merit to them.

Edited by eatvancouver (log)

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know, it seems for most movies the market is a lot larger.  So, one bad review really doesn't have the same impact.  So, if say, Alexandra Gill gives Fantastic Four a bad review (which she should, that movie was absolutely miserable), it might affect ticket sales a little in Vancouver, but probably not the overall numbers to as much of an extent.  But for a small restaurant in Vancouver, the impact would be more direct.

That's not to say movie critics aren't judged pretty harshly.  If you google a major movie critic, say Lisa Schwarzbaum for instance, you'll see a lot of people have problems with the things she says.  Or in the sports world, take Stephen A. Smith.  Pretty much everyone hates him.  Not to imply that I don't like Lisa Schwazerbaum - I think she's fantastic and most people do.  Her example was more to imply that even the good ones get criticized. 

The important thing to note with Gill is that she's to restaurant reviewing what Michael Jordan is to restaurant reviewing.  And by that I mean she's not really a restaurant critic; and if you treat her columns as such, they might have some merit to them.

Lol, I am not making any assumptions about her or any so-called food critic to deliver altruism to the public. I am merely suggesting that there is a certain appeal to her opinion precisely because her personality shines through, whether we happen to like her character traits (from what we can make of it through words on newsprint) or not. Does her opinion have an effect on a restaurant? I am sure it must to some degree difficult to quantify. And I do not agree with the view that she is not really a restaurant critic. Not to present an apologia of her merits or demerits as a restaurant critic, but whether we think of her as worthy of restaurant critic status, she is the Globe and Mail's restaurant critic for our region. And should ever the Globe and Mail decide Jeffrey Simpson as the next Vancouver restaurant critic, then Simpson will be a restaurant critic. And of course, the cognoscenti will weigh that for what it is worth, as they should.

Edited by Kloom (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Why did someone start a thread on Gill some well respected food critics on this thread have queried, and not on them?  Obviously, the association with the Globe and Mail gives her clout, deserved or not.  But, I think people read her not because they necessarily trust her qualifications as a food critic but for the reason that her personality shines through in her written entries.  For example, her very cruel cut-up of Connor Butler may not be without some worthy points but when she warned Butler to pay heed to westsider tastes (aesthetic tastes, moreover), her classist roots shone through (that she is, as someone point out, from Etobicoke, makes all the more sense therefore--ie petit bourgeois ambitions) and turned her slag into content that regularly consumes the readers of London newspapers, from The Telegraph to News of the World.  Afterall, in many ways, Butler was an easy target for Gill, someone who obviously refuses to discard his straw hat for a toque when photographed.  Her aim was to cut him down to size before all other considerations, and that aspect of her review transcended whatever criticisms she held about the restaurant and which I found the most troubling, however appealing to read.

FWIW, I'm not exactly sure what your point is, but the A A Gill under discussion in this thread is Ms. Alexandra Gill of The Globe and Mail, not the Mr. A A Gill of London papers.

I read this as a discussion on the Gill Review of the Week thread, not the AA Gill thread. You may have misunderstood the reference to the Telegraph - I believe Kloom is comparing her style to that, not mixing up the two Gills.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why did someone start a thread on Gill some well respected food critics on this thread have queried, and not on them?  Obviously, the association with the Globe and Mail gives her clout, deserved or not.  But, I think people read her not because they necessarily trust her qualifications as a food critic but for the reason that her personality shines through in her written entries.  For example, her very cruel cut-up of Connor Butler may not be without some worthy points but when she warned Butler to pay heed to westsider tastes (aesthetic tastes, moreover), her classist roots shone through (that she is, as someone point out, from Etobicoke, makes all the more sense therefore--ie petit bourgeois ambitions) and turned her slag into content that regularly consumes the readers of London newspapers, from The Telegraph to News of the World.  Afterall, in many ways, Butler was an easy target for Gill, someone who obviously refuses to discard his straw hat for a toque when photographed.  Her aim was to cut him down to size before all other considerations, and that aspect of her review transcended whatever criticisms she held about the restaurant and which I found the most troubling, however appealing to read.

FWIW, I'm not exactly sure what your point is, but the A A Gill under discussion in this thread is Ms. Alexandra Gill of The Globe and Mail, not the Mr. A A Gill of London papers.

I read this as a discussion on the Gill Review of the Week thread, not the AA Gill thread. You may have misunderstood the reference to the Telegraph - I believe Kloom is comparing her style to that, not mixing up the two Gills.

I had great difficulty parsing it at all...hence the "for what it's worth" :raz:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that we should applaud ms. gill, she has definitely transcended the column she writes, further, she probably enjoys the banter on websites like this. Interesting to note that whether or not she writes a good or bad review, people will have a comment.

Gerald Tritt,

Co-Owner

Vera's Burger Shack

My Webpage

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read her reviews for entertainment. As Daddy A mentioned I need to try something myself when it comes to taste.

As far as the review on Connor Butler it should have helped his restaurant as most people not connected to the weird world of food forums had no idea the restaurant existed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed, her track record speaks for itself, but do you know this for a fact?

I still find it ammusing the assumption we have that all food writers should be reviewing for the altruistic "good of the dining public."  Last I checked, the goal of most publications is sales.  Libel aside, pretty much anything that generates sales is fair game in the reviewers world. 

Taste is subjective, so I'm not sure how a restaurant reviewer can help me decide if I'll like a dish or not.  Ultimately I have to go and taste it for myself, right?  So other than letting me know a given restaurant exists, I'm not sure what role the reviewer plays, apart from entertainment.

Do we judge movie reviewers or sports writers as harshly? 

A.

I find it amusing that in almost any local publication that I pick up lately, I will find an advert for Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in it, that contains a lovely little quote by A.G. of The G. & M. Some reviews just live on and on and ...... :wink:

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

The latest Gill review takes aim at Nu and Rare.

Now, I have nothing against differing opinions, but in the case of Rare I have to wonder if she's even eating at the same Rare that I have. Her comments are so contrary to my personal experiences it has me questioning her motives, as rediculous as that sounds. Is she a jilted ex-lover? Did chef tease her in high-school? Help me out ... I'm looking for an explanation. :rolleyes:

She's much kinder to Nu. But the gist of the article is that both restaurants are not worthy of their recent accolades from en Route magazine. Perhaps Ms. Gill would be happier if no awards were handed out if she deemed none of the new restaurants worthy ....

A.

Link to post
Share on other sites

She starts to cross lines with this review. She certainly has an axe to grind with Brian of Rare.....why? No one knows. I just ignore most of what she has to say. She writes like she does because it sells newspapers. I can't take her opinion seriously if she likes the decor AND the chairs in NU. I don't go to restaurants for good posture. I go to relax and enjoy good food.

Edited by Irishgirl (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Her review of Nu and Rare seem to be pretty fair, although, not possitive (oh well, I guess it's only one opinion). I often agree with much that she has to say but more importantly will this review entice me to try a place like Rare when I am back for the holidays (probably not (mostly given the price tag), but then again, it was not on my radar in the first place). The comment about the wine pairing price seems to also be fair and I have started to see more and more of the wine pairings lacking in value, at least in Toronto. As I am sure people can appreciate, we each have different opinions. I remember openning a 1999 Kracher No. 9 for a friend of mine and he tried it and looked at me and said it's too sweet. Argghhhh.

officially left egullet....

Link to post
Share on other sites
The comment about the wine pairing price seems to also be fair and I have started to see more and more of the wine pairings lacking in value, at least in Toronto.

Here's the quote from the review:

Six-course tasting flights are available for $25, $40 or $65. We order the top end, hoping for the best. He sneaks in a glass of Heartland Shiraz that I recently picked up at the liquor store for $22 a bottle. That's an awfully steep markup, so audacious it's rarely seen.

I don't get what the problem is. She's paid for a tasting flight, not an individual bottle. If all the wines in the $65 flight were of that value, then agreed, it's a porblem. But this was just wine out of several. Perhaps there were some other exceptional wines she hasn't described, and the Heartland just evened things out. Something else she never mentions: Did she like the wine????

Or maybe I'm not well versed enough in wine to appreciate what's she's driving at ...

A.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, at least the gang at Rare can not worry about Ms. Gill coming back for a third kick at them........................I would be having a word with security as to how she managed to get in a second time !

I don't find myself quoting Jesus very often these days, but since it's almost his birthday...

"... neither cast ye your [Rare] pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

Link to post
Share on other sites

I walked past Rare on Saturday night. The room was busy and seemed to have the nice buzz of happy diners. In fact - whenever I go by lately - it seems consistently full of people enjoying their food. When all is said and done - those are the reviews that matter the most.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the quote from the review:
Six-course tasting flights are available for $25, $40 or $65. We order the top end, hoping for the best. He sneaks in a glass of Heartland Shiraz that I recently picked up at the liquor store for $22 a bottle. That's an awfully steep markup, so audacious it's rarely seen.

I don't get what the problem is. She's paid for a tasting flight, not an individual bottle. If all the wines in the $65 flight were of that value, then agreed, it's a porblem. But this was just wine out of several. Perhaps there were some other exceptional wines she hasn't described, and the Heartland just evened things out. Something else she never mentions: Did she like the wine????

Or maybe I'm not well versed enough in wine to appreciate what's she's driving at ...

A.

I had the same reaction. Without knowing what other wines were poured I'd have a hard time drawing any conclusions about the markup on a flight.

Did she like the wines and were they good pairings?

Cheers,

Anne

Link to post
Share on other sites
I had the same reaction. Without knowing what other wines were poured I'd have a hard time drawing any conclusions about the markup on a flight.   

Did she like the wines and were they good pairings?

I did draw conclusions and inferences from the statements that she did make and by doing a little math and making a few assumptions based on the information I know (size of typical tasting portions of wine of 2 oz and a best case scenerio, a mark-up of 100% - with six tasting portions one need not be a math person to figure the per 4 oz glass was $20+ each glass (or assuming a little spillage you get 6 glasses per bottle for $120 a bottle or $60 pre-mark up cost per bottle) and as such I would expect some fairly good wines (although the article notes a $22 per bottle pre-mark up bottle in the mix) and if however, the mark up is higher than 100% the value is inversely proportional to the same). I guess if the pairings were good she might have noted the same? I personally would not have gone with the wine pairings (in any event). The review of the food included more than enough substantive comments for me. Besides, I am sure someone from the restaurant would be more than willing to post and correct Ms. Gill and clarify my assumptions/conclusions/inferences. I will then stand corrected.

officially left egullet....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Besides, I am sure someone from the restaurant would be more than willing to post and correct Ms. Gill and clarify my assumptions/conclusions/inferences.  I will then stand corrected.

Or maybe somebody from the restaurant is, like I should have done, giving the hack as much attention as she deserves, and ignoring her.

A.

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

This Saturday Globe review wasn't even one of her regular Friday reviews of the week. I am curious, however, whether there is any substance to her statement about Rare's suffering (flavor-wise) with the advent of chef Quang Dang?

PS - surely (I hope) someone in Vancouver can tell me where Quang Dang is now?

Memo - dang if I didn't forget my reading glasses

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...