Hell Hath No Fury Like an Irving Mill Flack Scorned

It may look like a restaurant, but it's a war zone, people.Photo: Jeremy Liebman

In this week's magazine, the long-shanked Adam Platt takes his appetite to Irving Mill, a new haute barnyard venue that seems to take more than a few pages from Danny Meyer’s book. Platt doesn’t outright dismiss the place for lack of originality, but he’s keenly aware of the joint’s “carefully calculated” vibe, with a menu that’s “worthy and competent without being particularly daring or new.” In the end, he single-stars the Mill, noting that the “stolid cooking and the warm and cozy atmosphere” make up for the uninspired menu.

Not a glowing review, but not a total rip, either. You might think only the most feverish members of the Greenmarket cult would find any real offense in Platt’s assessment — that is, until you check out the lively comments section, where something becomes very clear: The flacks hath been offended! To wit, a sampler of telltale phrases:

• “I have eaten at Irving Mill 3 times...”

• “Everyone I have gone with has been more than happy with their meals...”

• “[G]iven the choice of Gramercy’s $98 tasting menu and Mill’s $54 bargain I’d choose the later [sic]...”

• “I was here for a business dinner with 5 other people and everybody was thrilled...”

• “I highly recommend the grilled octopus, Cod, and the Striped Bass.”

• “[H]ad a wonderful dinner at the Irving Mill with some dear friends recently...”

• “[The] rabbit, monkfish, halibut and arctic char [...] were fresh and well prepared...”

• “The price was right!”

• “Friends that have been to Irving Mill several times love the warm and friendly atmosphere and can’t stop raving about the food: the Quail over cheese grits, chicken liver crostini, the rabbit, the short ribs, all the fish dishes, especially the arctic char and the desserts.”

• “Every night we’ve been there has been lively and fun and very crowded.”

And so on, and so forth. Actually, we’re really glad that the PR crew has finally come to the comments party, if only to demonstrate their mastery of the Hyperbolic Quantity and Detail defense. Now you try: “My thirty-six friends have been there nine times apiece—they all loved the $26 roasted codfish, which was the color of snow!”