With all the talk of newspapers' declining influence, and amidst all the food blogs, a bad review from Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni will still throw your kitchen into absolute chaos, Le Cirque founder Sirio Maccioni reveals to Portfolio. "Who's [Frank Bruni]? I don't know him," he snarks. (Oh, and it's hard even for Maccioni to get a reservation at the Waverly Inn: "You have to call Vanity Fair."). After the jump: how a bad NYT review in 2006 prompted him to change everything.
Oh yes, oh yes. No, we tried to change. I had to change the general manager, the No. 1 chef, the pastry chef, and the officer manager. It's like changing your driver when your car is going at 150-miles-an-hour speed. It was very traumatic, but I had to do it.
I will treat them completely with indifference, regardless of what they say.... Still, a good review from the New York Times makes you feel good. Not only me but the people that work in the kitchen. Can you imagine how you feel uncomfortable being here and working [after a bad review]? Especially the young people. When a bad review comes, sometimes they look at me and say "Why?" You have to try to explain and just try not to think about it. [Portfolio]