New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni launched a fierce mortar attack at Keith McNally's mainstay Balthazar today on his Diner's Journal, citing inexcusable risotto, overcooked chicken, chaos (CHAOS!) and discomfort as casus belli.

But how's the actual experience of it? I stopped by in a gearing-up-for-Morandi mood and frame of mind, and on this visit — and do I emphasize it was just one visit — I didn't have such a wonderful time at all...Inexcusable risotto. I mean bad. Really bad.

Not a wonderful time AT ALL? Them's fightin' words, Commodore Bruni. And pursuant to Article 2 Paragraph 4 of the Gawker Media LLC-Balthazar Non-Aggression Treaty of 2006, (signed over a nice Pouilly Fuiss and steak frites), we have no choice to take this as a belligerent act of aggression against Gawker.

Don't you know, FB, that 90% of Gawker's wheeling-and-dealing happens on those chairs you deride as spindly? Or that without the Balthazar bread basket, Denton deflates like a leaky bouncy castle, taking hordes of screaming kids with him?

Back to Balthazar [Diner's Journal]