Yesterday our sister site, MenuPages, wondered what the hell Chicago Sun-Times critic Pat Bruno was thinking, blowing his cover as a judge on Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. Back here in New York, we asked the GM of a recently relaunched restaurant whether being able to identify a critic makes a huge difference, and of course we were told that it does, from making sure that the table isn’t smudged to controlling how many servers are doting on the diner.
In fact, our source told us that at least one major publicity firm arms their new clients with a facebook that includes not only critics, but also internet writers and editors from magazines like Gourmet and Food & Wine. At our source’s restaurant, any server who outs a critic is given vouchers for a free meal for two. A photo of Andrea Strong is, of course, already hanging in the kitchen. So far, they haven’t been able to snag a likeness of Platt.