Two years ago it would have been unheard of. Today, in the equalizing world of Web 2.0 and blogs, those that are scorned by mainstream media scorn back.
Such is the case of The New York Times food critic Frank Bruni vs restaurateur turned blogger Jeffrey Chodorow.
The short version: Bruni writes a scathing review of Chodorow's new restaurant. Chodorow takes out a full page ad in the New York Times questioning Bruni's qualifications and to announce he is starting a blog where he will among other things shadow the reviews of the NYT food critics.
Is that delicious or what?
First, Bruni 's no star review of Chodorow's latest restaurant venture.
Hanging upside down from the ceiling in the nearly pitch-black dining room are sharp, gleaming samurai swords, about 2,000 of them. The server volunteered that number, appended with an assurance that the blades, firmly anchored, shouldn’t cause any concern. The food and the bill should. Although Kobe Club does right by the fabled flesh for which it’s named, it presents too many insipid or insulting dishes at prices that draw blood from anyone without a trust fund or an expense account.
Then came Chodorow's full page ad.
"Mr. Bruni comes to us from Rome where he was not the local “expert” on Italian cuisine; he wrote about politics. 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). 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. Your readers would not expect your drama critic to have no background in drama or your architecture critic to not be an architect. For a publication that prides itself on integrity, I feel your readers should be better informed as to this VERY IMPORTANT fact, so that they can give your reviews the weight, or lack thereof, they deserve."
Near the end of the ad, Mr. Chodorow shared his true intention. From now on, he is going to shadow the food critics at the NY Times and create his own reviews in his newly launched blog.
"In the interest of fairness, I am also introducing my personal blog, which will be a compilation of my food-related experiences and musings and a special section entitled Following Frank and After Adam, in which I will make a follow-up visit to restaurants they write about for the purpose of reviewing their reviews. My blog will appear at www.chinagrillmgt.com/blog. "
So far over 60 people have shared comments on Chodorow's blog. Their comments are mixed from calling him a cry baby to applauding him.
Nothin' like a food fight to get you smilin' in the morning.
to Chip Griffin who wrote a great post on the restaurant wars.
Image credit: New York Times, Robert Presutti