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The Bruni Thread


Guest Aaron T

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If you read back over the last page or so, you'll see that the principle of (what I now call) "special considerations" appears starkly in what Sneak intends to be a statement of (what he'd like to be) the de facto approach.

 

Yeah. But if you don't think that the way you put things is of enormous importance in rulemaking/principlestating, you're nuts.

 

That's why I re-read what you'd written and how I came to discover the inconsistency in your position.

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that's because we all know delis generally suck. and that they're most likely to be notable for historical reasons. well, he's now covered the notable ones. an equal playing field doesn't mean it's a tabula rasa. NO ONE has been saying that.

A tabula rasa is a blank page - or tablet, if you prefer. The term comes down to us from Locke (just in case you think I'm floundering).

 

If you do attach any meaning to "equal consideration", perhaps you'd tell me what it is. Because I have no idea what you mean. (I do, of course: I think you want it to mean both a level playing field and a playing field on which everyone knows special considerations apply to cheap/causal/genre places. But that's not very coherent.)

 

1. It's a level playing field because every restaurant that reaches a certain level of notability is eligible for a review.

 

2. a higher level of notability is required to mandate a review.

 

3. it's not a tabula rasa because it's obvious that when a restaurant opens up in the Essex House space it is more likely to be notable than a new corner Thai place on the LES. but that's probable NOT necessary.

 

4. think necessary v. contingent properties.

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So you do or you don't think all types and levels of dining options get "equal consideration" when the Restaurants critic decides what to review?

Clearly they don't, since Bruni has reviewed only two delis in over 3½ years on the job.

1. that simply doesn't follow at all. all that it says is that there aren't very many notable delis. well, yeah.

I was simply giving an example of the principle that "$25-and-under" places get starred review only if the critic thinks they're notable, but $60-and-over places are guaranteed a review no matter what. There's a middle ground where you can practically guarantee that Bruni at least tries the place, but he might skip reviewing it.

 

To be more specific, you can be sure that Bruni has (by now) dined at every luxury French restaurant in town, even though there are still some of them he hasn't reviewed. But it's unlikely he's tried every deli, or that he intends to. We know he hasn't tried many of the important pizzerias (he admitted as much).

 

2. Freeman's is very popular and has a lot of buzz (and had even more so). it was and is a notable restaurant.

That's undisputed. There are tons of notable and popular $25-and-under places. What I thought was pointless was "promoting" it from $25-and-under not long after the original review, only for the purpose of awarding zero stars.

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That's why I re-read what you'd written and how I came to discover the inconsistency in your position.

 

It's not an inconsistency (I think).

 

My point is that if you write a limitation into your principle, then the exercise of that limitation isn't an "exception" to the rule but rather an application of the rule.

 

I think it makes a big difference to say that "reviews of cheap places are exceptions" rather than that "cheap places are appropriate review subjects when they're exceptional" -- even though they mean the same thing.

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good or excellent? (across the menu.) especially notable for anything? (like Katz's or 2nd Avenue)

 

edit: I said "generally suck"....I stand by that.

 

 

Good across the board. Not excellent in anything.

 

Ben's also doesn't suck.

 

I don't want to revive this argument, but since until yesterday you didn't know what a Jewish deli was, how can you claim to have eaten in enough of them to be able to say that they "generally suck"?

 

cause Eastern European food generally sucks (and I've eaten a lot of it).

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I think it makes a big difference to say that "reviews of cheap places are exceptions" rather than that "cheap places are appropriate review subjects when they're exceptional" -- even though they mean the same thing.

It may make a big difference, but aren't both statements true?

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Of course. But we're talking about setting policy here (i.e., pretending that we had the ability to). Talking normatively rather than merely descriptively.

 

At least, I thought that's what we're doing.

 

(In the post oakapple quoted, it would have made more sense if it said "reviews of cheap places are to be exceptions".)

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1. It's a level playing field because every restaurant that reaches a certain level of notability is eligible for a review.

 

2. a higher level of notability is required to mandate a review.

 

3. it's not a tabula rasa because it's obvious that when a restaurant opens up in the Essex House space it is more likely to be notable than a new corner Thai place on the LES. but that's probable NOT necessary.

 

4. think necessary v. contingent properties.

 

Good grief.

 

Notability is a contingent property of any dining option of any kind. Necessary properties are not at stake here.

 

There is (and should be) a level playing field between all dining options which reach (or pass) a certain level of notability. Agreed.

 

The principle, then, is that achieving that level of notability qualifies a dining option for (a possible) Times review. And as a contingent, or practical matter - sure - upscale restaurants are more likely to achieve that level than downscale restaurants.

 

But as a further practical matter, we all know that the Times critic knows this too, and therefore that it's not a level-playing field between upscale and downscale dining options when he goes out and eats his working meals. The latter are less likely to get examined.

 

Now I think we have some common understanding of the terms. The shade of difference is that I think it's perfectly reasonable to identify the emboldened statement above as a principle by which the critic functions - he/she has little choice: it's a working principle, not an outcome of empirical fumbling.

 

It's another way of saying that there has to be something truly special or notable about a downscale restaurant for it to appear on the critic's radar - and why it would seem so odd (even if it has happened) for the critic to review such a place only to rip it up; and not odd for the critic to rip up an upscale place.

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But it hasn't!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

the starred reviews is NOT a $26+ column. it's NOT.

 

As has been pointed out repeatedly, nobody has ever claimed that it is. That's something which you raised, and have since been furiously arguing against.

 

I say again, it's the Times which has a segregated space for dealing with cheap eats (not that it's the only place it deals with them). MF does not. That was the point.

 

 

 

There are other people participating in this discussion (who are married to each other) (and doctors of philosophy) (at least one of whom comes from Wales)

 

 

Just to make clear that my point was in opposition to G.J.'s and was about the NY Times reviews, not MF. It is clear to me that, if you read G.J's posts on this, he is, in fact, claiming what the section of Wilf's post above says that no one is claiming -- it is a clear conclusion from GJ's post that only the "$60 and over" restaurants should be in the starred review section. My contention (and Nathan's) is that this is elitism. Taco carts & theater lobbies are straw dogs to me... the real issue is that the main review section of the NY Times (not the $25 and under) is as appropriate for Sri and 2nd Ave as it is for Hearth & Ssam Bar.

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(Not to revive this old discussion, but I maintained at the time that the Freeman's review was appropriate because it came at a time when Bruni was throwing stars at neighborhood spots like confetti, and I think he recognized that he needed to give a no-star review to one just to show that there were some working criteria in place.)

 

(As is too often the case with him, too bad it didn't work.)

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Okay, now that everyone appears to have come full circle, has it been decided whether 2AD deserved a review in the "prime column" or not?

Absolutely not, because notability should be restricted to food. Note: my opinion, not my attempt to state Times policy.

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... the real issue is that the main review section of the NY Times (not the $25 and under) is as appropriate for Sri and 2nd Ave as it is for Hearth & Ssam Bar.

 

And I'd say yes, it would be if 2nd Ave Deli's food was as remarkable as Sri's. You've been there countless more times than I have, so my assessment may be wrong, but I didn't find it special.

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... the real issue is that the main review section of the NY Times (not the $25 and under) is as appropriate for Sri and 2nd Ave as it is for Hearth & Ssam Bar.

 

And I'd say yes, it would be if 2nd Ave Deli's food was as remarkable as Sri's. You've been there countless more times than I have, so my assessment may be wrong, but I didn't find it special.

 

And I say that we're not agreeing with GJ on this and that I go farther than you and also say that it could also be appropriate for review in the main section because of it's notoriety -- everyone who ate at the old place wants a review of the new place & it'll sell papers to do so. That, to me, also counts.

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1. It's a level playing field because every restaurant that reaches a certain level of notability is eligible for a review.

 

2. a higher level of notability is required to mandate a review.

 

3. it's not a tabula rasa because it's obvious that when a restaurant opens up in the Essex House space it is more likely to be notable than a new corner Thai place on the LES. but that's probable NOT necessary.

 

4. think necessary v. contingent properties.

 

Good grief.

 

Notability is a contingent property of any dining option of any kind. Necessary properties are not at stake here.

 

There is (and should be) a level playing field between all dining options which reach (or pass) a certain level of notability. Agreed.

 

The principle, then, is that achieving that level of notability qualifies a dining option for (a possible) Times review. And as a contingent, or practical matter - sure - upscale restaurants are more likely to achieve that level than downscale restaurants.

 

But as a further practical matter, we all know that the Times critic knows this too, and therefore that it's not a level-playing field between upscale and downscale dining options when he goes out and eats his working meals. The latter are less likely to get examined.

 

 

that's why I said he's not starting from a blank slate. but, see, I'll contend that at a certain price point etc., notability becomes a necessary property. Masa was gonna get reviewed no matter what.

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