Pat Bruno, the main dining critic at the Sun-Times for the past 27 years, was fired yesterday. Time Out’s Robert Feder — who left the troubled paper a few years ago — broke the news early this morning, writing that Bruno was given the news over the phone by a “mid-level editor of the Weekend section.” Bruno called the move, “Very, very unprofessional on their part.” We’d have to agree. That said, we haven’t exactly had the best relationship with the critic over the past few years. Let’s see, where shall we begin?
We were confused when he blew his anonymity on an episode of Throwdown With Bobby Flay, and when he reviewed the same chain restaurant in the space of a year. We questioned how a critic could avoid drinking cocktails, hate all small plates, and refuse to ever step foot in Next. We’re also not sure we’ll ever get over the fact that he coined the phrase, “South-in-your-mouth,” and then felt the need to repeat it a year later.
Occasionally, he really did hit the mark, especially when he was discussing his true love, Italian food. And it’s kind of sad that one his best opening lines — “There seems to be no letup in the high-stakes porker game.” — was written just last week.
With the Sun-Times cutting seemingly every position in its office, it was only a matter of time. No news has come out officially whether he’ll be replaced, though we’ve heard rumors on both sides. And don’t worry about missing your weekly Bruno fix; he’ll have one last review in the paper this Friday, along with a “retirement” note. Then he claims that he’ll transition over to the blog world soon. Wait…doesn’t he hate all blogs, too?
Firing Leaves Bitter Taste of Sun-Times Food Critic [Time Out Chicago]