Food Fight! Famed Restaurant Owner Hits Back at ‘NYT’ Critic — In ‘NYT’ Ad

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By: E&P Staff

Famed restaurant owner Jeffrey Chodorow didn?t just get mad, he tried to get even, after New York Times critic Frank Bruni dissed his new Manhattan eatery. Only his venue raised eyebrows ? a full page ad in today?s food section of The New York Times.

Chodorow, who has run several hotspots but is perhaps best known to many from his TV role with Rocco DiSpirito, trashes Bruni for his review on February 7 of his Kobe Club.

The ad takes up about double the space of the Bruni review and is dense with type. Chodorow?s letter is addressed to ?Mr. Pete Wells,? editor of the paper?s dining section. It opens by mentioning rave reviews for the eatery, then goes after Bruni for wriing a review that ?was as much or more about me than it was the restaurant.? He said critics at the Times had been hard on him ever since his ill-fated DiSpirito TV show, ?The Restaurant.?

He then attacks Bruni’s credentials, noting that his previous post for the Times was in Rome, where he wasn?t even an expert on Italian cusine. Then he adds:

?In the interest of fairness, I am introducing my personal blog, which will be a compilation of my food-related experiences and musings and a special section entitled Following Frank and After Adam, in which I will make a follow-up visit to the restaurants they write about for the purpose of reviewing their reviews?.My friends in the restaurant business have warned me that there will be further retaliation against me for speaking up. So be it.?

Wells told the AP the paper has no plans to move Bruni to another job. Asked by AP if he had his employee’s back, Wells replied via email: “Yes. Absolutely.”

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