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A Few Corrections


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I fear today's Express piece portrays me as a smug egotist, just as the Post Food Section's piece a couple months ago portrayed me as a socially awkward late-night psycho; neither are true, and both contain inaccuracies and misleading portrayals (last year's piece, for example, contained an extremely unflattering quote from a "friend" whom I hadn't seen in years, and barely even know anymore). I like both of the authors very much, and I'm not saying any of this is their fault, but I've got to clear a couple things up here.

Most pressing is today's issue, so let me nip some things in the bud:

1) I cannot "secure the most coveted tables at the best restaurants - even when everything is supposedly booked solid." While I can sometimes pull a string or two, I would never be foolish enough to say that as a blanket statement - in fact on dcdining.com, I come straight out and say the opposite, citing Komi as an example.

2) The reason I downgraded Vidalia from bold to italic in the Dining Guide (a couple years ago) is partially because I didn't like their shrimp and grits. While I like Vidalia very, very much, it's not necessarily my "go-to spot when in need of comfort."

3) Plume's library table is a curtained, private table for four (or two, or three) in a secluded corner of the dining room; it is misphotographed in the print piece as an entire room - that isn't the Library Table.

4) This was not pitched to me as an upscale-only piece, and I spent a fair amount of time discussing realistic options for everyday people (such as going out and getting Georgetown Cupcakes and Baked and Wired's versions, and coming home and having a cross-tasting by the fire over a bottle of sparkling wine, or going out the night before so you could easily secure a table and not get ripped off). The upscale presentation is perfectly fine with me, but it really caught me off-guard when I saw it this morning. I suspect it's just how the editor wanted to present the piece (please understand, I do not limit myself to fine dining in the least - one look at my reviews should clear that right up).

The picture in the print version, especially in context, makes me look like an arrogant little shit; in reality, I spent over an hour with the photographer at Ray's The Steaks, joking around and trying to come up with the most tongue-in-cheek photos possible - precisely because I didn't want to take myself too seriously. Those are Mark Slater's sunglasses that I borrowed. Here is the full, uncropped picture which was intended to be funny:


I'm quickly learning that press pieces are not for my benefit; they're for the benefit of the publication. I don't have a problem with these portrayals as long as people understand that they're somewhat cartoonish. Again, I like the authors, photographers, editors, etc. very much, and I understand this is all part of the game. And quite honestly, I appreciate being taken seriously enough for these pieces even to be written, so let me close by saying "thank you for even thinking to write about me." (I think!) :)



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We who know you personally are well acquainted with the wicked sense of humor and appreciate it. I knew that the Express article would come up some way but didn't expect you to bring it up. It was a bit over-blown (besides, I'm the one who can get the tables at sold-out restaurants. Just consider our little dinner at French Laundry last Tuesday night and the follow-up dinner we had at Per Se yesterday :)) but as someone once said "all publicity is good publicity". After all; "Apres moi, le deluge" or something. Hang in there Don, we got your back. (BTW, the picture doesn't do you justice..)

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The last time Rocks was asked to play culinary Cupid, he dressed up in an outrageously good costume (honestly, I have no idea how he does it, but the effectiveness of the disguise would put the CIA to shame), and when he got bored waiting for his ortolan, this was the result, as caught on security cameras. There can be no doubt about the identity...just check out his nosing technique at 1:03. Thankfully he forgot the bow and arrow back in his lair.

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