Skip to main content

A restaurant review(er)

Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle

Are restaurant reviewers useful creatures? Does anybody choose to go to a particular restaurant after and because of having read a favorable review in a newspaper or magazine, or online site?

These thoughts are stimulated by Tanya Gold's piece in the September issue of HARPER'S, "A Goose in a Dress." The image suggested by the title is that of a goose being force-fed to make a restaurant delicacy, so that at the other end of the production chain a (sillier) goose, a female restaurant patron, formally dressed,  can be force fed as well.

Gold's animus is directed especially at Per Se, a fashionable place on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The well-dressed geese there are "hostage to ... a nine-course tasting menu by Chef Keller and his acolytes....The client ... is a masochist waiting to be beaten with a breadstick....The restaurant seethes with psychological undercurrents and tiny pricks of warfare. It is not relaxing."

So ... she isn't recommending it, right?

So ... are restaurant reviewers useful creatures?


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…