Richman Kicks New Orleans While It’s Down

Obviously not abhoring the decadence.Photo: Philip Gould/CORBIS
This time, Alan Richman may have gone too far. The august critic, whose views appear frequently and at length in GQ and on Bloomberg, is known for his unabashed denunciations of sacred cows. (It’s said that Jean-Georges Vongerichten didn’t get out of bed for two days after being battered by Richman.) Now the writer has claimed that New Orleans restaurants are crap: "I think people either take to the city or they do not. They buy into the romance, or they abhor the decadence. I know where I stand."

Bloggers from Ed Levine ("Let the Bad Times Roll") to Jason Perlow ("Shame On Alan Richman") to Chez Pim ("How to Cook a Jackass") have been excoriating Richman from every angle. Now, while we believe that his long and detailed attack is flawed — there’s too much about places, like Galatoire’s, that few people take seriously anymore — we do indeed doubt many of New Orleans’ tablecloth restaurants could stay in business in NYC. New Orleans was seriously behind the times ten years ago; more recently (before and after Katrina), it’s been like a time warp, a trip to the Age of Omnipresent Crabmeat. But then, we’re seldom sober for two hours at a time when we’re there. Which, we’ll admit, is exactly Richman’s point.

Yes, We’re Open [GQ]