The Other Critics

How to Order Like Frank Bruni

From left, Monkey Bar, Hotel Griffou, and DBGB.
From left, Monkey Bar, Hotel Griffou, and DBGB.

As part of his new policy of being visible everywhere and always, former critic Frank Bruni puts in an audio appearance on GQ’s blog. He went to Hooters and hated it, obvi. The most enlightening bit is his set of rules for ordering: “Look at the list of appetizers and entrées … Cross out the the appetizers and entrées you’ve seen at every other restaurant — that’s the chef and restaurateur playing to the lowest common denominator. Then find the weirdest dish, and cross each of those off because that’s the chef indulging his or her own worst vanity. And look at the dishes left and order from those.”

Let’s see how a couple newcomers fare.

Items crossed out in red are the clichés; those in blue are the flights of vanity.

Hotel Griffou:
Choose among Pork Cutlets from 1892, Sole Meunière with Forest Mushrooms and Marjoram, or Sweet-Pea and Ricotta Ravioli.

Monkey Bar
Choose from a Minted Pea Soup, Chasen’s Chili, Chinatown Chicken Salad, Kedgeree, or Skate Grenobloise.

Choose from the majority of dishes, including Sweet-Corn Velouté, Striped-Bass Escabeche, or Guinea-Hen Terrine.

How to Order Like Frank Bruni