Best Of MenuPages Reviews: Why Is This Woman Shilling For ZED451?

ZED451, the River North American-style churrascaria is opening tonight to much fanfare. We passed judgment on the restaurant a few weeks ago, contending that it would be a fun place to spend an evening, but the all-you-can-eat meat selection and chef-driven sides would probably never rise above “good enough” at this suburban-origin chain. Gastronomic Bypass was there the other night for their free preview dinner, and pretty much confirmed our suspicions.

So we were somewhat surprised when we got a review this morning entitled “Zed-understanding fine dining!” from Sandra Smith-Doghmi, co-owner of Red Carpet Concierge. She wrote:

From the front door to the rooftop garden the experience was fabulous. Douglas Wickard, GM and his staff welcomed, served and d the ultimate in Chicago Dining! It is compared to dinner at Oprah’s home. Buffet style for the first few courses with butlers constantly wandering with rump roast, garlic steak, sirloin, filet, short ribs, orange bbq pork ribs, parmesan crusted pork medallions, grilled chicken breast & legs, citrus salmon and lamb. Oh, and you have to start out with the fondue meats appitizer, the best. Zed definetly offers something unique-beyond compare. A Chicago Concierge

Our guess is that Mrs. Smith-Doghmi meant, “welcomed, served and delivered the ultimate in Chicago Dining” (emphasis added; or maybe she meant “dismembered”?) But anyway, there’s very little attempt to hide that this is a bald shill. As a professional concierge, Mrs. Smith-Doghmi must constantly seek out new clients and reciprocal relationships to exploit (less cynical people might call this “synergy”), and there’s clearly some quid pro quo going on in this case. Why else make such audacious claims about a restaurant that isn’t even open to the public yet? Even if you assume that she had a good time at the dinner, this reads as a PR plug and not an honest reflection of experience (she rated it a 5/5/5/5, which is strongly frowned upon). We mean, really, what can you do with “It is compared to dinner at Oprah’s home.” Although on the other hand, Mrs. Smith-Doghmi is more likely to have eaten Chez ‘O’ than any of us. No, still, our sensibilities are offended.

If any actually unaffiliated people make it to ZED451 tonight and love it, please let us know.

ZED451 [MenuPages]
ZED451 [Official Site]
Red Carpet Concierge [Official Site]

[Photo: shiller Sandra Smith-Doghmi, Red Carpet Concierge]


Best Of MenuPages Reviews: Why Is This Woman Shilling For ZED451?