Bruni Finds Bobo Only So-so

Frank Bruni technically doesn’t use the Times’ Diner’s Journal blog to review restaurants, except when he does, as in today’s post about Bobo. Bruni discusses Bobo’s food and atmosphere at some length and isn’t too crazy about it, nor are his fellow diners. “Shouldn’t the lobster in the pea soup have some discernible lobster flavor? For that matter shouldn’t the pea soup taste more discernibly of pea? Should it be possible for someone at the table to mistake the lamb for beef? And the ricotta ravioli: should they be this floppy and extravagantly cheesy?” The critic is the first to admit that Bobo is handsome enough, but compares it to a comely cheerleader or chiseled lifeguard who doesn’t have to try that hard while coasting through life. “It seems better at a certain pose — half-coy, half-complacent — than at truly memorable cooking.” We enjoy these more casual semi-reviews even more than we do the full-bore one that comes every Wednesday: You know that Bruni is doing them because he feels like it, rather than because a newly opened restaurant requires it, and the pressure to describe every meatball and service error is lifted from his shoulders, allowing him to riff the way he does so well.

Out and About: Bobo [NYT]