Pinocchio has mastered the art of spin control. Is the Oregonian regretting giving the restaurant a bad review?
On November 21st, critic Roger Porter’s Oregonian review of Pinocchio was published. Some choice gems:
I cannot tell a lie. Pinocchio is the most mediocre restaurant in years to occupy prime downtown real estate.
Right now the cooking smacks of airline food, but here you can’t bring your own onboard.
Tagliatelle with hazelnuts (a nod to Oregon) looks like a muddy wetland, while the nuts are jagged and hardly well integrated.
The minestrone has lots of flavor and the appropriate legumes and vegetables, but a dollop of pesto on top bathes the soup in an oily slick that reminds you of the recent spill in San Francisco Bay
It gets worse. You can read the entire review here.
A few weeks later, Pinocchio sent out a press release. First mistake, they blind copied the entire email list. As an excited friend said “Now I have the email address of just about every PR and media contact in town!”
Attached to the press release, was a .pdf file titled “Pinocchio Oregonian Review”. Wow, I thought. I’m surprised they are mentioning such negative press! Then I opened the file. It was a completely different fluff piece, written by someone named Angela Allen. She makes the restaurant sound really good, but if you pay attention, you’ll realize she never says anything bad about the food. It’s pure puffery. I’d link, but oddly for these days when every story is published on the O’s website, it seems to be missing. Don’t ask me to post it; the attachment is 14 megabytes – another gaffe.
I’m not sure whether to be disgusted with Pinocchio from trying to put such a spin on their terrible review, or impressed they did such a good job. Perhaps a little bit of both.
1. Toro Bravo (Big yes)
2. Clyde Common (Another big yes)
3. 23 Hoyt (perhaps, but not this high)
4. Country Cat (No way)
5. clarklewis (Not no more)
6. Dove Vivi (Good pizza, but 6th best restaurant?)
7. Toast (Give me a break)
8. Pinnochio (Wouldn’t make the top ten list in Beaverton)
9. Biwa (Good noodles)
10. Terrior (Who at City Search is Stu Stein sleeping with or smoking crack with.)
Where the hell is Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen, Simpatica, Castagna, Lovely Hula Hands, Bluehour, Fratelli, Noble Rot and Higgins?
Wow, that Balinese spread sounds amazing.
The Pinnochio email? Not so much. 13 meg attachment? To dozens of people, without a mailing list? Wow. That’s the figurative equivalent of sending anthrax through the postal system.
Food Dude says
I had this confirmed by a reliable source tonight. Could be she’s just trying to get something and expects to stay. Who knows.
odd. i just ran into amy at dinner with her gm (tondero’s gm) a few nights ago, and no one said a word about her leaving.
did they mention it to you, jj?
Amy’s departure was reported by the Oregonian today.
I know it’s a popular pastime amongst those likely to write for/post on sites like this to bash Citysearch, but y’all jumped the gun a bit on this one. The above list was clearly spelled out on the Citysearch site as the Top 10 NEW Restaurants of 2007.
Dave J. says
The above list was clearly spelled out on the Citysearch site as the Top 10 NEW Restaurants of 2007.
Which makes me wonder how the hell I managed to go to clarklewis in 2005.
Food Dude says
In which case they should have made it a top 5 list. Some of those don’t even deserve a mention.
I know 23Hoyt opened in 2006.
Pretty much every rag/blog in town has re-reviewed clarklewis since it was taken over by Carey in 2007, so there’s clearly a perception of “newness” to it. And 23Hoyt opened in late 2006, so I suppose if they had made the best new restaurants of 2006 you would have complained “What the f!? They’ve only been open a couple months!”
So bah humbug. Instead of bitching about Citysearch’s sh***y choices, why don’t you both give us your own list? Geez…
Wow JDG, it’s just Citysearch…
There are a lot of good restaurants in this town, only three of which are on this list (my opinion, feel free to argue).
So let’s hear it. Which ones didn’t make the cut that you feel should have?
Ahhh…Best of 2007. Still, I don’t agree with the list. As for Clarklewis, it does feel like a new place. In a way, going there is like visiting my college campus: lots of memories but no familiar faces. Still, a recent meal was very good and very much in line with Kevin Allman’s recent Willamette Week review. The drinks, appetizers, salads and desserts were absolutely stunning, but the entrees truly lackluster.
How did Tondero’s opening night go yesterday?
Food Dude says
themick, I’ll try to do a quick hit on Tondero early next week. I’ve been incredibly busy this week.
Wondering if you were still planning on the quick hit on Tondero………or are you giving them the “benefit” of the doubt?
Food Dude says
themick, still gathering info. Look for it in the next 4 days