Declaring War on The New York Times
A Remarkable Response
Jeffrey Chodorow had three options: (1) Ignore it; (2) Run a series of upbeat, positive ads with quotes from delighted food critics and customers; (3) Declare war on The New York Times.
Amazingly, Chodorow chose door number 3, and bought a full-page ad in the food section of The New York Times. His 1,200-word diatribe was addressed to Pete Wells, the editor of the Dining In/Dining Out section of The New York Times, and critic Frank Bruni’s Boss.
It is not pleasant when a grown man whines.
He referenced positive reviews from three well-known, New York food critics and followed with a paragraph that would cause even the most junior PR operative to follow Steve Brody off the Brooklyn Bridge and into the East River:
As anyone who read the review can see, the review was as much or more about me than it was the restaurant (as opposed to the three reviews referenced above which were solely about the restaurant). Ever since my ill-fated collaboration with Rocco DiSpirito on the TV show, The Restaurant, critics for the New York Times (and certain other publications) have been very hard on me. This was no exception. Admittedly, there was that one errant clam (out of a 3-tier seafood tower). Unfortunately, bad clams happen … occasionally, but how does a review in which the main player, Kobe beef, is acknowledged by Mr. Bruni to be perfectly prepared, warrant zero stars?
The review was emphatically not about the restaurateur personally. True, the review catalogued his spotty history with several unsuccessful restaurants—Mix, Rocco’s, Brassario Caviar & Banana.
But if Frank Bruni cared to get personal, he would have mentioned the felony conviction for money laundering and brief 1996 hiatus in the pokey.
But where Chodorow blew it big time was this line:
- New York City