The ultimate confluence of a prestige media restaurant reviewer and prestige media restaurant has finally occurred: Frank Bruni has reviewed Michael's for the Times. At this point we should skip all the background, because those who don't appreciate the import of this moment will never be invited to Michael's anyhow. Suffice it to say that the city's most famous critic visited its most famous media power lunch spot, and, in a blinding flash of meta-media honesty, declared that it sucks big time:
Though he deems it "satisfactory," Bruni points out Michael's most obvious flaw: it charges outrageous prices to people who want to see and be seen, so who cares about the food? I'll tell you who: Frank Bruni.
The shrimp were entombed in a dense, soggy beer batter and interred in an almost monochromatic landscape of goat cheese, puddles of dark miso aioli and shavings of summer truffle that might have been shavings of summer rubber for all the flavor they had. California cuisine? More like gloppy, affected pub grub, for which Michael's charges $25
Zing! You could have had a corner seat, Frank, but now forget it. How about the obligatory media-food tie-in?
Across a series of visits I had some enjoyable food, notably the renowned Cobb salad, less a salad than an entire ecosystem, vast and verdant, with enough avocado to feed three I.C.M. agents or five Vogue editors.
Gracious. Now back to the main point:
And shouldn't a diner paying $38 for sea scallops get more than two, situated at opposite ends of a long hillock of sautéed snow pea leaves?
Also keep in mind Michael's is hated by its own waiters, and its sommelier gave Bruni a bum recommendation on Chardonnay. On the upside, you are guaranteed to meet Laurel Touby there. [NYT; pic via Radar]