J-Chod Officially Bananas (and Caviar?)
If you read the Dining section online, you missed quite an entertaining bonus today. Jeffrey Chodorow took out a full-page ad opposite Bruni and Meehan (which eater estimates cost at least $30,000) to address the Dining section's editor, Pete Wells after Frank Bruni delivered a zero-star burn on February 7.
(Full disclosure: I worked for Rocco DiSpirito and Jeffrey Chodorow at Rocco's. You may have glimpsed me in the background, hiding from the cameras.)
J-Chod's whiny, 7-paragraph tirade begins with a run-down of positive mentions for Kobe Club and a brief history of how Rocco DiSpirito ruined his life. It moves on to a guilt trip on behalf of all the people who work at his restaurants and the charge that Ruth Reichl was the last qualified restaurant critic at the Times. But it ends with the most dazzling gift of all: the inauguration of his new "personal" blog, which his colleagues must have tried desperately to dissuade him from launching.
Amazingly, in the blog, the Chod will do follow-up reviews to those of Adam Platt and Frank Bruni. We don't know what to say. We just can't hardly wait.
We are also looking forward to watching China Grill Management's future in the Dining Section. In the meantime, though, we're really enjoying the overwhelmingly positive comments he has gotten on the blog so far.
Some excerpts, after the jump:
"I fully support your letter in the Times."
"For years I have waited for a restaurant to do this. It is not childish by any means, it just shows he has the balls to point out the obvious that has been voiced in New York's finest restaurants for years."
"I absolutely loved your 2.21.07 letter in the Dining In section of my favorite newspaper."
"Jeffrey, I whole heartedly applaud your response to the abuse you have been asked endure. If only more Americans would call others on their abusive crap - what a great place America could really become."
"BRAVO!!!!!!!!! for your NYTIMES letter. As a marketing professional do I question the expense? Yes. But as an avid "foodie" who took her professional prowess to your industry at one point, and is now enjoying being an active consumer again, I absolutley applaude you."
"As you have pioneered, even the NBC deal for me as a media marketing profesional, was reflective of who you are...frontiersman."
"I applaud you! I can assure you that any press is good press."
"Kudos on speaking out. As a reviewer of restaurants in NYC, I often think that the Times reviews are way of base, and generally speaking, have come to ignore them."
"I just read your NYTimes letter. Good for you! There is so much more to restaurants than serving good food."
"It's about time this issue has been addressed. Too much weight and power has been put the hands of these reviewers."
"I haven't had the pleasure yet of dining at Kobe Club but I know several well known restauranteurs who have and they all have nothing but positive things to say. I look forward to going there soon and to the continued success of China Grill Mgmt."
"Bravo to Mr. Chodorow!"
"great rebuke in the nytimes bravo for speaking out"