The New York Sun reports today that restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow spent $80,000 in order to take out a full page to wine about his restaurant Kobe Club's bad review in the New York Times.
According to the Sun:
Mr. Chodorow attacked the Times reviewer, Frank Bruni, in his open letter yesterday, writing that the newspaper has been lacking a "real food critic" since Ruth Reichl left for Gourmet magazine. He wrote that he was the victim of a personal attack.New York times food critic Frank Bruni gave the restaurant zero stars in his review, saying, among other things:
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.
For the most part it feels like a cynical stab at exploiting the current mania for steakhouses in Manhattan by contriving one with an especially costly conceit and more gimmicks than all of the others combined.But one wonders if Mr. Chodorow wasn't perhaps, less hurt by the negative review of the restaurant, but in fact more stung by the references to himself, as the review points out that he "hasn't had much local success of late," and details some of his notable failures. A blow to the ego perhaps?
Mr. Bruni of course responded to the ad by saying that his review was "completely honest, if inevitably subjective," and stated that none of this would have any bearing on future reviews of Chodorow-owned restaurants he may do.
Mr. Chodorow should perhaps learn how to take criticism. After all, if you want to have a grandiose empire of "concept" restaurants that are as much, if not more about the decor and the scene than the food, you're going to have to be prepared to take some hits from restaurant critics who prefer not to be distracted from their food by the one million Damoclean swords you've decided to hang from the ceiling. A negative review is inevitable and honestly, it's not going to stop the people who would eat at that kind of restaurant from eating there. So, in other words, take a pill Jeffrey Chodorow. This is probably is not the first bad review of one of your restaurants, and I am sure it won't be the last. Don't be a baby.