Frank Bruni of The New York Times recently left New York and to do “an intensive stretch of dining elsewhere in the country.” After all the love from The Times over the past year, I thought he would make it to Portland, especially since he was right up the road in Seattle.
Instead, he says “I bypassed Portland — where, for example, Le Pigeon might have lured me — because readers were introduced to new restaurants there in an article by Eric Asimov last fall.”
His generalized conclusions: NY restaurants are expensive, NY is “the finest restaurant city in the nation, with an unrivaled range and depth of options”, and “New York is absurdly blessed.”
His list of top ten restaurants in the nation, appear to be based on one visit, which in my opinion is a dubious sampling. Bruni even refers to this himself:
Certain judgment calls — leaving Ad Hoc out of the top 10, for example — were tougher than others. I happened to visit Ad Hoc, which serves the same predetermined meal to every diner, on one of its every-other-Monday fried chicken nights, and I had some of the best fried chicken of my life. But the bean salad before it and the chocolate chip cookies after weren’t nearly as impressive.
Then he dances around the issue here:
“Each had just one meal to make its case, and each was encouraged to show its best face, in that I pointed myself toward dishes that were reputed to be, or should be, the restaurant’s strong points.”
Here is his list:
- CENTRAL MICHEL RICHARD (Washington)
- COCHON (New Orleans)
- COI (San Francisco)
- FEARING’S (Dallas)
- FRAîCHE (Culver City, Calif.)
- GUY SAVOY (Las Vegas)
- MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD & DRINK (Miami)
- O YA (Boston)
- TILTH (Seattle)
- UBUNTU (Napa, Calif.).
Because of the Portland snub, I will NEVER buy The Times again (except for Monday’s, because that’s the easiest crossword puzzle day, and Tuesday’s (technology), Wednesday (food section), Friday (movie reviews), and Sunday’s, because if you have the Sunday Times in bed with you, one doesn’t really mind that no one else is there.