Kinder, Gentler Frank Bruni Reviews Corton, But What of Hooters?

A few months back, we put on display New York Times chief restaurant critic Frank Bruni’s knife-wielding side — as everyone knows, he’s at his best when the claws are out. This week’s review of TriBeCa dining hotspot Corton, however, shows the softer, possibly Boy George-listening side of Bruni.

Take, for example, a “relatively straightforward” foie gras dish capturing Bruni’s imagination. One would think there would be some pretty strong language for it, no? Instead, we get: “In the end it was the creamy, sublimely prepared foie that got me and my companions.” It “got” you, Frank? No good. But we get the feeling that even Frank finds moments of discontent with having to stay within the parameters of, well, being nice. In his December 3 re-review of Momofuku Ssam Bar, Bruni admits to the inherent contrarian nature of critics, calling readers to “think about how those of us dishing out the praise feel. We’d love to move on to a more original object of adoration and would be happy to pronounce (Momofuku restaurant empire chef David Chang) overrated or just plain over — we’re cranky and contrary that way.”

You can tell the guy is achin’ to get his hate on. And we wouldn’t want him to go around bashing hard-working restaurants that try, in earnest, to serve up a good meal to New Yorkers of all epicurean stripes. But we couldn’t agree more, Frank. Our solution to your problem? Start reviewing shittier restaurants. We have some decent places to start. For example: wouldn’t you love to see Bruni take on the Captain Crunch Chicken Tenders at Planet Hollywood? Or give a serious examination towards some of the food at BlackBook writer Ryan Adams’ favorite digs, Republic? Bruni took on the steaks at the Penthouse Executive Club, but what about the “buffalo shrimp” at the New York City outpost of Hooters? Yes, Frank, we know we’re onto something here.

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