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Robert Brown

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Everything posted by Robert Brown

  1. The only thing I can think of is that the Tampa reviewer is leaving her job. This story was an act of bravery for which the editor of the paper deserves credit, too. Generally, a restaurant reviewer will adamantly insist they are not PR enabelers, but how often do they take on a story such as this? Of course they will write up a chef cheating his workers or being overworked or taking drugs, etc. But to do an exposé such as this is unheard of, so far as I know.
  2. I think this is a big deal. Will the NYT delve into this? I would be surprised if it did.
  3. The thought of"Make Way for Ducklings" makes me cry over a lost childhood.
  4. I figure that a really good and interesting restaurant opens on the Supper East Side about as often as the Mets get to play in the World Series. Since the team was in the one recently concluded, it stands to reason that a restaurant that is noteworthy and worth regular visits comes into being. Grunauer Bistro, which opened last month, on First Ave. and 82nd turns out to be this place. That the owner once had a well-regarded restaurant more than 35 years ago, Vienna 79, where I believe David Bouley started out, was a good sign. Of course Grunauer invites comparison to the other outpost for
  5. Sneakeater, may I borrow the first one?
  6. For what it's worth, the only recollection I have from my forgettable dinner at Buerehiesel in Strasbourg when it had three of those MIchelin stars was that my request for terrine of foie gras, to which I was really looking forward, was met with Westermann words, "We are sold out of it". Of all the meals I have had in similarly-rated restaurants in France, it is the only time this has happened. Nonetheless I am somewhat curious to try Le Coq Rico.
  7. Voyager, there is lots you can watch on-line. If you are diligent, you can watch the recent programs. I'm not sure to what extent Petitrenaud boosts patronage. My major complaint is the feeling I get that what he shows is can better than what you would eat if you went there. That's the impression I get sometimes from lookng at the wbsite menus. Especially if the menu is limited or no-choice. On the other hand I have yet to see anything that hints at sous-vide. Perhaps like chefs of his generation, he isn't a partisan.
  8. Dedicated to John Whiting, Voyager, her friend Jake, and all those who love dining in France: As my gift to the community, I bring you enlightenment to your food TV viewing. Compared to the stuff you see on the Food Network, my preferences are the difference between sophisticated enlightenment and drivel. I am sure that everyone's cable TV system offers TV5Monde for $10.a month or less. It is worth the money (and if you want to watch on your computer, some of what I am about to mention is free). Now on Tuesday mornings, TV5 presents with sub-titles "Les Escapades de Petitrenaud" an
  9. John, I am very appreciative of the update about the inn. It's a good metaphor about how dining has changed. I love the way you dine and travel in France. I can't help thinking of your polar-opposite, that Andrew Hayley guy who equates cost with quality and lets a dubious guidebook determine where he goes. You have always done it with insight and connoisseurship. In a little while I will post in the "On the Screen" forum something you probably know about and, I hope, enjoy and appreciate.
  10. The titles have slipped my mind. Did you check Amazon or ABA Books?
  11. John, to think that Jason Epstein married Judith Miller!!! What a wonderful farewell you write to Mireille Johnston. I remember her series on PBS. Quoting John Thorne ("Food writing's shameful secret is its intellectual poverty") to start the obituary was brilliant, not to mention controversial; and it plays right into a point I wanted to bring up. The quote is the handmaiden of the issue of is cooking an art form. I think the point that John Thorne is implying is that food writing isn't about the spiritual and the workings of the psyche; that its literary qualities are something more
  12. John, I would be honored. I have another sub-topic I want to go off on, which I will as soon as I can.
  13. John, thanks so much for introducing a wonderful topic. It's great that you're full of piss and vinegar. I can honestly say I haven't been to London since we met at Jonathan Day's house. I hope we can meet again. In the meantime, I can try to put some rudimentary perspective on the phenomenon. In the 1950s and 1960s when book publishing was a genteel profession, the editors-in-chief and other editors were bon vivants and great consumers of serious food and wine. For instance, Alfred Knopf had Angus Cameron, Robert Gottlieb, and Julia Child’s editor Judith Johnson; Random House, Jason Epste
  14. Nobody is good at giving stars because they (stars) try to say everything and end up saying nothing.
  15. Does that have anything to do with pigs?
  16. If I wear my Hanshin Tigers cap (or my Yomiuri Giants or Fukuoka Softbank Hawks one) I can just show up anywhere and get a spot. Or if you are a Cincinatti fan and have one of their caps, you can use that since it's the same as a Hiroshima Carp one.
  17. What do your notes say about Akune? Do they give you a normal crapper? Otherwise I won't go.
  18. I wonder what Combal.Zero gets in Tablelog?
  19. You mean it's so busy that nobody goes there?
  20. In which format? Small? Tablelog? What do you mean, "Not available for first-time visits"? Isn't there always a first time?
  21. Okay, so much for that. Otherwise, it's an engrossing challenge in trip planning; one of those at which you spend more time planning than executing. I like the way people call Tokyo the restaurant capital of the world because of its 80,000 (or however many) restaurants while ignoring the fact that eight or ten of its restaurants could fit in one of ours. I ran through the blogs that Ori listed. In general they seem pretty useless. They just simply reinforce the fact that the bar to "reviewing" restaurants is exceedingly low. I concur with Ori nonetheless that Tablelog is the one best reso
  22. Orik, did you spend the night at Ryokan Akune? Do you know about lunch there? In the hierarchy of meals, how did it rank? The pictures look fascinating and daunting at the same time.How are the rooms? One black roof is below my comfort level. Also, I have my eye on a spiffy ryokan in Yufuin.
  23. How can you trust a guy like Swinnerton when, so far as I can tell, he never has a bad word about any place? Maybe he visits several places for each one he writes about, and those that he does achieve some kind of near-perfection. Maybe his bosses tell him never to practice anything except what I call Home on the Range journalism. As I am brand new to him, tell me if I am wrong and who or what can you rely on. I love Japan eating-planning. It is challenging to say the least. However, you pay a lot for a bad choice with little or no opprtunity for, since the Japanese are golf nuts, a Mulligan.
  24. It's all a matter of how you say it. And I didn't even mention about wearing my Hanshin Tigers cap.
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