What Does Sam Sifton’s ‘$25 and Under’ Experience Mean?

In addition to his Diners Journal reviews of 2004, Sam Sifton also wrote for the $25 and Under column for about half of 2002, when he penned reviews for Hurricane Hopeful, Celeste, Relish, Limas Taste, Sun Lok Kee, Wyanoka, M Shanghai Bistro, DuMont, Cabo Rojo, Da Andrea, Svenningsen's, Manetta's of Long Island City, Joe's Ginger, O Mai, Bennie's Thai Cafe, Biscuit, Brick Lane Curry House, Cocotte, and Hope & Anchor. It would be presumptuous to say Siftons $25 and Under experience signals that the next Times reviewer will focus more on inexpensive or moderately priced restaurants, but this does make us wonder: With so much reviewing experience under his belt back then (something Bill Keller strangely didnt mention in his memo), was Sifton in the running for the job when Grimes left in 2004, before Bruni eventually got it?

Earlier: Get to Know Your New Times Critic: A Sam Sifton Reader