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The Bruni Thread

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Guest Aaron T

I don't think his choice of restaurants this week was appropriate for the main dining review. It sounds like a $25 and under restaurant that happens to be more expensive.....

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He's clearly not going to bring his best game every week, is he? From the review, I can't distinguish this sixteen-year old restaurant (Donguri) from a couple of dozen other, similar and perfectly competent Japanese restaurants in the immediate vicinity of where I am sitting right now, let alone across the city. A good editor might ask some hard questions about why he chose it. One has the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Bruni fills in his lazy weeks reviewing unimportant restaurants where he happens to hang out. I am open to alternative explanations of his choices.

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My hunch (may've mentioned before) is that he's going to give a Japanese place 4 stars at some point soon (indeed Bruni has more or less hinted at this himself in a couple of places) and he's working his way towards this.

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Another possibility is that someone told him about this wonderful secret place that's not even in Zagat. At least two people have told me about it in a "hush hush, only telling you because I know you like food" manner (from which I conclude about 100,000 people are in on the secret), but Yvonne's suggestion makes sense.

 

Wilf -- why is reviewing Donguri less important than reviewing yet another poor new restaurant?

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It's a newspaper. How many two star Japanese restaurants are there in the city? Why this one? Why now? If you can review fifty restaurants per year, why does Donguri make the cut? Questions Sam Sifton doubtless put to him - I wonder what the answers were.

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Answers from a fictional Bruni:

 

How many two star Japanese restaurants are there in the city?

 

About 15, accorting to the current rating.

 

Why this one?

 

Because it's as good as Megu (also 2 stars :D ), at a fraction of a price and deserves recognition.

 

Why now?

 

I only learned about it, many others don't know about it yet. Shouldn't we be the ones to tell them, rather than those pesky internet boards?

 

If you can review fifty restaurants per year, why does Donguri make the cut?

 

That's hard to answer, but I think we owe readers a mix of the new and the old, which is why I revisited Bouley and arbitrarily deducted a star before reviewing Per Se.

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I too found it an odd choice, but if Yvonne's hunch that four stars are going to be bestowed on a Japanese restaurant soon is true than it would make more a little more sense. Or will in restropect once the high end Japanese review comes out.

 

The blonde woman in the photograph accompanying the review looks like she hasn't had a square meal in ages. :D

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Another possibility is that the Times decided to have a Japanese theme for both the "high-end" (tho it doesn't seem that high) end review and the Under $25. Corny but possible.

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I glanced at the Home section of the NYT today, and it didn't register. Only when I was looking something else up I came across the same article on the web and lo and behold I see Frank Bruni wrote this drively piece on Kitty Kelly. Shouldn't he be out reviewing restaurants?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/16/garden/1...ml?pagewanted=1

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That article has now made Frank Bruni a candidate for my "most annoying writer at the NYT", a sobriquet I have heretofore limited to Alex Wichel and that horrible Joyce Wadler who writes the Boldfaced Names thing.

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That article has now made Frank Bruni a candidate for my "most annoying writer at the NYT",  a sobriquet I have heretofore limited to Alex Wichel and that horrible Joyce Wadler who writes the Boldfaced Names thing.

Isn't Joyce Wadler the one who wrote about her bout with cancer? And Alex Witchel, isn't she married to Frank Rich? Wanna take it back? :D

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Isn't Joyce Wadler the one who wrote about her bout with cancer?  And Alex Witchel, isn't she married to Frank Rich?

 

Yes ("My Breast") and yes.

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He's clearly not going to bring his best game every week, is he?  From the review, I can't distinguish this sixteen-year old restaurant (Donguri) from a couple of dozen other, similar and perfectly competent Japanese restaurants in the immediate vicinity of where I am sitting right now, let alone across the city.  A good editor might ask some hard questions about why he chose it.  One has the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Bruni fills in his lazy weeks reviewing unimportant restaurants where he happens to hang out.  I am open to alternative explanations of his choices.

Regardless of the original reason for deciding to review a restaurant, by the time the critic has visited a restaurant several times, he has already made an investment of time that is critical to a weekly reviewer. Most of the Times's lead reviewers have avoided the trap of over-hyping (or mercilessly slagging) the merely competent restaurants just because it becomes the featured review.

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Isn't Joyce Wadler the one who wrote about her bout with cancer?  And Alex Witchel, isn't she married to Frank Rich?  Wanna take it back? :D

I am sorry that Wadler had cancer and glad that she seems to have recovered. But I would like her to go away and stop writing that column. I respect Frank Rich and admire his writing. I cannot say the same for his spouse.

 

Those topiary mokeys were scary.

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