In his delightfully authentic and autobiographical Setting the Table, restauranteur and entrepreneur Danny Meyer both laments and celebrates the role critics have played in determining the success of his various restaurants.
In one such story he recounts a time in 1994 when New York magazine profiled his newest restaurant upon its opening, complete with a cover page emblazoned with 4 stars under the prompt “Gramercy Tavern: The Next Great Restaurant?”
While publicity like this would normally be considered better than anything money could buy, the publication failed to inform their lead food critic, Gael Greene, that they would be running this piece. Mr. Meyer was put in the awful position of having to explain that her work would be overshadowed by that of the magazine for which she wrote. She was outraged and took it out on the newly opened tavern.
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Predictably, Gael did launch an assault on the restaurant in her review; she was responding as much to her own magazine’s hype as she was to her sense of the restaurant itself.