Declaring War on The New York Times
Admittedly, there was that one errant clam (out of a 3-tier seafood tower). Unfortunately, bad clams happen …
Whoa! An “errant clam” in a $500 dinner?
I had a piece of fishy, nose-wrinkling bluefish in a neighborhood saloon here in Philly and have never been back. Every time I walk by the place with my dog in the pre-dawn hours, I am reminded of that “errant” bluefish.
Chodorow ended his review by questioning Bruni’s credentials as a food critic. “In fact, there hasn’t been a real food critic with food background (except perhaps Amanda Hesser) at The New York Times since Ruth Reichl (now editor-in-chief at Gourmet magazine),” he snarled. “Perhaps that’s also why your reviews are so all over the lot, with great restaurants getting bad reviews, fair restaurants getting great ones, one star reviews that read like two star and three star reviews that read like one star.”
Mimi Sheraton Weighs in
I lost touch with Mimi Sheraton for more than 15 years and wasn’t sure she was still with us until I read her take on Jeffrey Chodorow’s screed in Slate.com. It was just great to see that she is very much in business and still funny as hell:
This was not the first time a negative restaurant review engendered such a violent and costly response in the Times (estimates in the press for what Chodorow spent on the full-page ad range from $30,000 to more than $80,000). During my stint as that newspaper’s food critic between 1976 and 1984, there must have been at least half-a-dozen such ads, all greatly appreciated as a source of unexpected revenue, albeit at a paltry $10,000 a shot. “We make more money when you give a bad review than when you give a good one,” A.M. “Abe” Rosenthal, then the executive editor, used to say.
- New York City