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The Bruni Thread


Guest Aaron T

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I was about to say that Wilf was wrong if he thought that he and G. were asserting the same things.

 

with that said, Wilf is still wrong when he wants to limit notability to food...even though he really doesn't cause I think he'd say that if a place was very expensive and served bad food it'd still be review-worthy. for example, it's an attempt to say that the RTR review was about the food..

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if i may be so bold as to participate in a conversation about big city ways: the discussion seems to revolve around genre. one school of thought says that the ny times food review is by and large restricted to a particular genre of restaurant (not cuisine, but restaurant). it is irrelevant what the actual quality of food served at the restaurant is; if you're in the genre you're in the review pool. if you're not in the genre then your food should be exceptional to get you in. because it is after all a review. if your claim to genre transcendence is historical importance, then you should be in a feature essay.

 

carry on.

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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.

 

As I feared, you misunderstand necessity. Masa San could be a short-order chef and his restaurant a fast food joint. That he is a notable chef running a notable restaurant is a contingent, and not a necessary fact. Or, if you prefer analyse it formally:

 

(Ex) (Mx & -FCx) is not a contradiction; where M is the property of being Masa, and FC the property of being a famous chef.

 

Or finally, there is a possible world in which Masa runs a restaurant which is not notable, as well as a possible world in which Masa doesn't run a restaurant at all. Tragic thought it may be, there is even a possible world in which Masa doesn't exist - something which may or may not be true of God.

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I was about to say that Wilf was wrong if he thought that he and G. were asserting the same things.

And I never did.

 

with that said, Wilf is still wrong when he wants to limit notability to food...even though he really doesn't cause I think he'd say that if a place was very expensive and served bad food it'd still be review-worthy. for example, it's an attempt to say that the RTR review was about the food..

 

RTR?

 

It's my opinion that notability of cheap/casual/genre restaurants which otherwise would not get reviewed should be limited to food. In other words, a place which wouldn't otherwise be under consideration shouldn't get reviewed just because celebs dine there or someone got shot there or it features strippers...or whatever.

 

It's an interesting question whether I should apply the same criterion to a place you'd normally expect to be reviewed. It would, of course, mean an end to zero or maybe one star reviews of high profile openings - and I think those are helpful in a way that a zero star review of a poor diner would not be.

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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.

 

As I feared, you misunderstand necessity. Masa San could be a short-order chef and his restaurant a fast food joint. That he is a notable chef running a notable restaurant is a contingent, and not a necessary fact. Or, if you prefer analyse it formally:

 

(Ex) (Mx & -FCx) is not a contradiction; where M is the property of being Masa, and FC the property of being a famous chef.

 

Or finally, there is a possible world in which Masa runs a restaurant which is not notable, as well as a possible world in which Masa doesn't run a restaurant at all. Tragic thought it may be, there is even a possible world in which Masa doesn't exist - something which may or may not be true of God.

 

no no....those are contingent properties of sensei Masa-san...

I'm talking about the necessary properties of the restaurant.

(talk about a rabbit trail though.....)

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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.

I think you're mixing up policy and judgment.

 

Though he has never directly said so, I believe Frank Bruni would agree with you that a place like 2nd Avenue Deli is review-worthy only if it's notable for food reasons. He believed that 2AD met that requirement.

 

If he's wrong about that, it's not a policy error, but a judgment error—the kind of thing you cannot expect the Times ever to correct until they get a new critic.

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if i may be so bold as to participate in a conversation about big city ways: the discussion seems to revolve around genre. one school of thought says that the ny times food review is by and large restricted to a particular genre of restaurant (not cuisine, but restaurant). it is irrelevant what the actual quality of food served at the restaurant is; if you're in the genre you're in the review pool. if you're not in the genre then your food should be exceptional to get you in. because it is after all a review. if your claim to genre transcendence is historical importance, then you should be in a feature essay.

 

carry on.

 

Almost. But we can't pretend that there isn't a contingent but strong relationship between genre and quality. That's why - as I just posted - it's news that Kobe Club (was it?) gets zero stars, but not worth printing if the Morning Star (crumby diner) gets zero stars.

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no no....those are contingent properties of sensei Masa-san...

I'm talking about the necessary properties of the restaurant.

(talk about a rabbit trail though.....)

 

And of course precisely the same analysis applies to the restaurant. Unless perhaps you think it is a necessary existent?

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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.

I think you're mixing up policy and judgment.

 

Though he has never directly said so, I believe Frank Bruni would agree with you that a place like 2nd Avenue Deli is review-worthy only if it's notable for food reasons. He believed that 2AD met that requirement.

 

If he's wrong about that, it's not a policy error, but a judgment error—the kind of thing you cannot expect the Times ever to correct until they get a new critic.

 

I don't think I'm mixed up. I agree it was a judgment error (although I think the quote we saw earlier from Bruni said he considered history and/or diversity when evaluating notability).

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yes, this particular genre is defined by a pretension to quality, and members get starred according to their ability to return investment on pretension. those from outside the genre get in only when their food is so good as to overcome the other genre requirements (assuming, of course, that there is no burger stand out there with unremarkable food but michelin level service and appointments).

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Okay what about underground restaurants? Some are pricey. Some serve serious food. Some have nice ambiance. Some are notable.

 

A good number have been reviewed by other media.

 

Does the NY Times choose to ignore them (review-wise), just because they're operating underground? Is that legitimate? Is it a disservice to its readers?

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yes, this particular genre is defined by a pretension to quality...

 

But not arbitrarily. On the basis of observation by many people over many years (in this corner of the globe).

 

Do globes have corners? Do I need a pee? No and yes.

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Okay what about underground restaurants? Some are pricey. Some serve serious food. Some have nice ambiance. Some are notable.

 

A good number have been reviewed by other media.

 

Does the NY Times choose to ignore them (review-wise), just because they're operating underground? Is that legitimate? Is it a disservice to its readers?

Are you referring to establishments like Bite Club? The title of Frank Bruni's column is "Restaurants". As good as Bite Club is, it's not a restaurant.

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1. RTR = Russian Tea Room.

 

2. Why was the Waverly Inn reviewed? it's just decent comfort food...like many unreviewed spots. it was reviewed because it is notable...and not for food.

 

3. as I said before, full capitalization increases the odds of high quality. nature of the beast. so expensive restaurants are more likely to be notable for food than cheap ones. but that's not at all like the belief of some that only expensive restaurants should be reviewed.

 

4. Masa the restaurant would not be qua Masa the restaurant, it would not exist, unless it were the most expensive restaurant in NY.

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