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touche

Touche as in douche like Sirs George Alexander Touche and Gordon Cosmo Touche of Dorking?

Or touché as in the fencing touchdown?

Going Out guide does not allow Touché Touchet bakery its accent, but the Metro column uses it for pronunciation purposes.

Noble's mom, high school PE teacher Holly Tousha (the last name is pronounced "touché")

Perhaps they should consider alternate spellings such as kraim broolay.

A snowday flavored grievance of willy nilly Francophilic WashPo restrictions will be filed via a registered male person through the gauntlet of slushy roads and riveting, holiday rivaling Stuporbowl paralysis to supreme WashPo editor Marc Broccli, CSLF president Conrad Ouello, ambassador Vimont, and the formidable cultural estates of Mssrs. Queneau, Larousse and Lewis.

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Despite these lacunae, Tom still is the hardest working critic I am aware of (too hard if you ask me, especially with his non-review work).

Besides, that's nothing in an industry with poster-boy chefs with no job (but a full-time publicist) and mini-Madoff TV chefs lying to and stealing from their staffs.

Or a restaurant association whose only interest is in screwing restaurant workers and raising money for itself at the expense its members.

The real crime is a media (newspaper and web) that is too chickenshit to own up to getting duped by these hucksters and con artists or to admit their active complicity in perpetrating those frauds.

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Despite these lacunae, Tom still is the hardest working critic I am aware of (too hard if you ask me, especially with his non-review work).

I agree with this on all counts, and I think he's spread way too thin (and has been for a long time).

Or a restaurant association whose only interest is in screwing restaurant workers and raising money for itself at the expense its members.

Are you accusing RAMW of this?

Besides, that's nothing in an industry with poster-boy chefs with no job (but a full-time publicist) and mini-Madoff TV chefs lying to and stealing from their staffs.

...

The real crime is a media (newspaper and web) that is too chickenshit to own up to getting duped by these hucksters and con artists or to admit their active complicity in perpetrating those frauds.

I'd love to see some specifics in both of these statements.

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Are you accusing RAMW of this?

FoodService Monthly, in naming Lynne Breaux "Foodservice Leader of the Year":

"...she has created a voice for the hospitality industry that must be listened to. When the District was considering the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act in 2008, which requires employers to provide paid sick leave, the final bill protected restaurants with exemptions..." and "helps relieve [other] payroll pressures..." (namely, the relentless battle against raising the minimum wage to living wage standards).

And "...the prime success story has been the growth of the RAMMYS...the planning and execution is a year round work in progress..."

You draw your own conclusions.

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You mean you would love to have me say the things that you already know but won't risk saying yourself.

Oh, make no mistake about it: In terms of the media, I know of unethical, smarmy things going on behind the scenes that might surprise even you - but I'm not the one bringing it up!

I will say this much: Don't assume ANYONE isn't on the take unless they specifically state that they aren't.

(And for whatever it's worth, I'm specifically stating that I'm not.)

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Oh, make no mistake about it: In terms of the media, I know of unethical, smarmy things going on behind the scenes that might surprise even you - but I'm not the one bringing it up!

I will say this much: Don't assume ANYONE isn't on the take unless they specifically state that they aren't.

(And for whatever it's worth, I'm specifically stating that I'm not.)

And make no mistake, either, I am not saying anyone is on the take--I am more referring to the journalists (new and old media) who repeatedly report what their journalistic standards should force them to know are outright lies or who continue to uncritically (without regard for or mention of prior known bad acts) report on business owners who have repeatedly proven their financial and moral malfeasance when that malfeasance is known to all with an even glancing knowledge of the subject, and then make no effort to report the facts when new instances of malfeasance or prevarication come to light (facts which would be unflattering to the perpetrator and reporter alike).

It's one thing to be Bernie Madoff, it's another to be the one encouraging others to invest, even if you know something is fishy, just so you can get your money out. And it is yet another thing to be the SEC regulator who further ignores the reports of wrong-doing because to reveal them would make him look bad for approving the damn thing in the first place.

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The greatest hits of the early 80s? Yannick? Rick Stewart? Help me out.

This is really inside baseball! I'm trying to understand this issue. Who is angry at whom and why? From what I can gather, some people are angry at Tom S. for having an SO in the restaurant business--conflict of interest. Others are worried that he has overstretched. Could someone provide a clear and comprehensive history of a serious ethical issue? Sorry for my complete ignorance.

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This is really inside baseball! I'm trying to understand this issue. Who is angry at whom and why? From what I can gather, some people are angry at Tom S. for having an SO in the restaurant business--conflict of interest. Others are worried that he has overstretched. Could someone provide a clear and comprehensive history of a serious ethical issue? Sorry for my complete ignorance.

three weeks in a row with no tom restaurant review does make you wonder what is going on -- behind the scenes. the post magazine is pretty thin in just about every way, and i would assume the review is why a lot of readers even bother opening it.

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three weeks in a row with no tom restaurant review does make you wonder what is going on -- behind the scenes. the post magazine is pretty thin in just about every way, and i would assume the review is why a lot of readers even bother opening it.

Yes, it is odd. He said that two of his potential reviews "fell through." And the WaPo says that he is "on assignment." Whatever that means. But so far, at least, he has shown up for his Wednesday chats.

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Today's chat explains Tom's missing-ness:

On Jan. 10, we didn't print a Magazine (the publication goes dark one week a year, generally in January).

Another week, I decided to use Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) as a way to toast the winner of my fall photo contest, who joined me on a Date Lab-style "review."

Because I was out of town for four days, for a forthcoming Travel story, I used a third Sunday (Feb. 21) to promote my Ask Tom chat, with a round-up of reader questions that have appeared in that forum. (Carolyn Hax does that now and then, so why can't I?)

Finally, I had a column (Feb. 28) fall through for me at the last minute when chef Frank Morales left Jackie's restaurant in Silver Spring. Thanks to my substitute reviewer, Candy Sagon, I had a back-up to run in an emergency (which this was).

If it makes you happy, the next two months will feature nothing but regular restaurant reviews.

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Fall 2010 dining guide hit the fiber this afternoon: Kitchen Confidential. I guess none of these are "secret "any more! As with his recent dining guide efforts the theme is gimmicky and tenuous at best. Just publish a list of what's new and noteworthy if you want to shy away from an updated Best of DC list (and I completely understand why he would, it's a losing proposition)

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I've been to Sushi Taro (for omakase at the sushi bar) 3 times in the last 2 years, more than any other restaurant that costs $100+ per person just for food. The quality of sashimi is much higher at Sushi Taro than Komi (overall I like Komi better). Just sayin' that Sushi Taro's sushi bar deserves at least 3.5 stars in my book (which admittedly, doesn't mean much).

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I know the Dining Guide has huge influence on restaurants listed and much cache for the dining public at large, but there's not a whole lot new here.

And I hate to be such a sour puss, but a food truck has no place in this. The measurables for his restaurant ratings are food, ambience and decor, and service. I wonder how three menu items served curbside on paper plates and eaten on a park bench in McPherson Square after a 35 minute wait compares to dinner at Againn? And the Columbia Room is an exceptional bar, a temple of refined drinking. But it is a bar. If your "restaurant review" contains no mention of food other than the word "snacks", it shouldn't be in something called a "Dining Guide".

Just sayin'..

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I know the Dining Guide has huge influence on restaurants listed and much cache for the dining public at large, but there's not a whole lot new here.

And I hate to be such a sour puss, but a food truck has no place in this. The measurables for his restaurant ratings are food, ambience and decor, and service. I wonder how three menu items served curbside on paper plates and eaten on a park bench in McPherson Square after a 35 minute wait compares to dinner at Againn? And the Columbia Room is an exceptional bar, a temple of refined drinking. But it is a bar. If your "restaurant review" contains no mention of food other than the word "snacks", it shouldn't be in something called a "Dining Guide".

Just sayin'..

Gonna have to come to TS's defense on this one-seems odd to complain that there's "not a whole lot new here", and then trash what is in fact new. People dine at food trucks and on snacks these days, and yes, many people might prefer either to a dinner at Againn (or any other traditional restaurant). I think it is refreshing and quite frankly, necessary for relevancy, for TS to include new definitions for 'dining' in his latest listicle.

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Gonna have to come to TS's defense on this one-seems odd to complain that there's "not a whole lot new here", and then trash what is in fact new.

I'll grant you that. At first, quick glance it seemed like the same old, same old. But after giving it another perusal, it's not the retread that I initially thought it was. That being said, I still prefer my "Dining Guide" to highlight establishments that have fixed addresses, tables, and a kitchen. But I'm kind of old school. :(

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I've written to Sietsema and told him that I find flaws in his lists, but his usual gracious responses disarm me enough that I won't bash the lists too much. It's just that his two lists this year included Artie's, a food truck, a few restaurants that closed, and in his latest one, did not include CityZen at all. Washingtonian almost gets a pass because it has so many top restaurant lists that eventually every one gets a mention, more or less.

But I have compiled a list of restaurants that provide great cooking, great value and no love in the northern Virginia area, but are worth being in all of our rotations (if you live and eat in northern Virginia). These are places worthy of at least two of Sietsema's stars. I would love to see a similar version from the Maryland Rockwellians as well....

And none of these will be in my Springfield backyard, just to emphasize my impartiality....

Layalina should get a lot of love. The food is really good if you understand Syrian food, and the decor is intensely warm, as is the graciousness of the host. My death row meal could come from this kitchen.

Thai Basil in Chantilly, even though it received a bump from the Bobby Flay throwdown episode, has the best Pad Thai in the area. Sakoontra is also in my Thai rotation.

Mikaku Sushi Taro and Tachibana are underrated Japanese restaurants, and I'll even throw Blue Ocean into this mix.

Zeffirelli's in Herndon is some of the most soul-satisfying Italian in the area. In fact, when I'm in the general Reston-Herndon area, I will avoid the chains and aim for Zeffirelli's or El Manatial or PassionFish. In fact, PassionFish is the best seafood restaurant in northern Virginia and the best restaurant of any kind in the Reston Town Center.

Blue Iguana gets no love, but Chef Eric Robinson is turning out some of the most consistent food in the Fairfax area. His special food pairings with wine (or beer) about every other month are some of the culinary highlights of northern Virginia for an unbeatable price.

Cafe Renaissance in Vienna is and always will be my Valentine's Day destination, and as many other days as I can make it. Chef Ocean Joseph would make Anthony Bourdain happy, with his throwback menu of organ meats and Steak Diane and all the dishes that we loved in the '60s and '70s.

I'll stop with these 11 because, thanks to the movie Spinal Tap, my list goes to 11. These restaurants are generally unhyped, with honest and quality food made by honest and quality staffs. I prefer many of these places to the ones that make anyone's "top" lists.

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It's just that his two lists this year included Artie's, a food truck, a few restaurants that closed, and in his latest one, did not include CityZen at all.

This really belongs in the Sietsema topic, but he made great pains to say that the latest dining guide was NOT the top restaurants in the area - just the ones that were getting the most buzz. He even called out CityZen in his chat, pointing out that it was still one of the best tables in the city, but it's just not a place that people are talking about at the watercooler.

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This really belongs in the Sietsema topic, but he made great pains to say that the latest dining guide was NOT the top restaurants in the area - just the ones that were getting the most buzz. He even called out CityZen in his chat, pointing out that it was still one of the best tables in the city, but it's just not a place that people are talking about at the watercooler.

Water cooler? I'm sorry but calling your 'best of' "Kitchen Confidential" is an admission that the industry has gotten the better of you. The book was published in 2000. While I think it is great that Tom is not living in the past, it seems that sadly, he is creating in the past. Seriously, read the intro to his piece. If any of us pitched that intro we would be laughed out of the building. Makes his dis of CityZen seem that much more gratuitous. I like his inclusion of trucks, etc., but there is undoubtedly a dated-ness/desperateness to his list.

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calling your 'best of' "

YOU called it a "best of", not Sietsema.

"To make the cut this year, a restaurant didn't just have to be performing well; it had to be a place folks are talking about. That means you won't be reading about all of the area's better-known addresses or popular standbys for sushi, steak or pizza. Chances are, you already know about them." (emphasis mine)

So, though you can infer from this statement that Ray's is still a steak destination in Tom's opinion, because he assumes you already know that, it's not in the guide.

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YOU called it a "best of", not Sietsema.

"To make the cut this year, a restaurant didn't just have to be performing well; it had to be a place folks are talking about. That means you won't be reading about all of the area's better-known addresses or popular standbys for sushi, steak or pizza. Chances are, you already know about them." (emphasis mine)

So, though you can infer from this statement that Ray's is still a steak destination in Tom's opinion, because he assumes you already know that, it's not in the guide.

'Best of' by any other name....it is a marketing ploy-why pretend it is anything more?

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'Best of' by any other name....it is a marketing ploy-why pretend it is anything more?

It can't be the "best of" since it's not the fifty best restaurants in DC and it's not the best of DC's restaurants in various categories as there's no representation for Chinese and various other cuisines. I'm not in the marketing/advertising business but it seems like you are. Could you explain why the dining guide is a marketing-ploy and for whom?

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YOU called it a "best of", not Sietsema.

"To make the cut this year, a restaurant didn't just have to be performing well; it had to be a place folks are talking about. That means you won't be reading about all of the area's better-known addresses or popular standbys for sushi, steak or pizza. Chances are, you already know about them." (emphasis mine)

So, though you can infer from this statement that Ray's is still a steak destination in Tom's opinion, because he assumes you already know that, it's not in the guide.

You are correct-it is my (incorrect) characterization not Tom's-Fall Dining Guide is the correct title.

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It can't be the "best of" since it's not the fifty best restaurants in DC and it's not the best of DC's restaurants in various categories as there's no representation for Chinese and various other cuisines. I'm not in the marketing/advertising business but it seems like you are. Could you explain why the dining guide is a marketing-ploy and for whom?

I am not in marketing but I have worked for publications and websites that do this kind of thing all the time. Readers are drawn to category-specific lists; but more importantly, advertisers are heavily lobbied to participate. I can guarantee you that the biggest ad sales are for things like these dining lists (even if they may contain little new information). The idea to connect this list to a popular (but completely unconnected) foodie bible is very clever, even if, again, there is not much new here. While I applaud Tom's attempt to stretch out here, it seems like, in the end, this list is not that much different than any other.

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I've written to Sietsema and told him that I find flaws in his lists, but his usual gracious responses disarm me enough that I won't bash the lists too much. It's just that his two lists this year included Artie's, a food truck, a few restaurants that closed, and in his latest one, did not include CityZen at all. Washingtonian almost gets a pass because it has so many top restaurant lists that eventually every one gets a mention, more or less.

But I have compiled a list of restaurants that provide great cooking, great value and no love in the northern Virginia area, but are worth being in all of our rotations (if you live and eat in northern Virginia). These are places worthy of at least two of Sietsema's stars. I would love to see a similar version from the Maryland Rockwellians as well....

And none of these will be in my Springfield backyard, just to emphasize my impartiality....

Layalina should get a lot of love. The food is really good if you understand Syrian food, and the decor is intensely warm, as is the graciousness of the host. My death row meal could come from this kitchen.

Thai Basil in Chantilly, even though it received a bump from the Bobby Flay throwdown episode, has the best Pad Thai in the area. Sakoontra is also in my Thai rotation.

Mikaku Sushi Taro and Tachibana are underrated Japanese restaurants, and I'll even throw Blue Ocean into this mix.

Zeffirelli's in Herndon is some of the most soul-satisfying Italian in the area. In fact, when I'm in the general Reston-Herndon area, I will avoid the chains and aim for Zeffirelli's or El Manatial or PassionFish. In fact, PassionFish is the best seafood restaurant in northern Virginia and the best restaurant of any kind in the Reston Town Center.

Blue Iguana gets no love, but Chef Eric Robinson is turning out some of the most consistent food in the Fairfax area. His special food pairings with wine (or beer) about every other month are some of the culinary highlights of northern Virginia for an unbeatable price.

Cafe Renaissance in Vienna is and always will be my Valentine's Day destination, and as many other days as I can make it. Chef Ocean Joseph would make Anthony Bourdain happy, with his throwback menu of organ meats and Steak Diane and all the dishes that we loved in the '60s and '70s.

I'll stop with these 11 because, thanks to the movie Spinal Tap, my list goes to 11. These restaurants are generally unhyped, with honest and quality food made by honest and quality staffs. I prefer many of these places to the ones that make anyone's "top" lists.

Sorry to see this buried under the Sietsema thread. It would be better to have it on the main restaurant board under "Dining in Northern Virginia" as a thread topic, just like the "Dining in McLean" or "Dining in Centreville" topics....the point is that there are lots of really good but unnoticed restaurants in northern Virginia, not that Sietsema is unaware of them.

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Sorry to see this buried under the Sietsema thread. It would be better to have it on the main restaurant board under "Dining in Northern Virginia" as a thread topic, just like the "Dining in McLean" or "Dining in Centreville" topics....the point is that there are lots of really good but unnoticed restaurants in northern Virginia, not that Sietsema is unaware of them.

[it entered my mind for sure, but I decided that "Northern Virginia" was an absurdly large geographical area to have as a thread - plus, this post wouldn't exist had it not been for Tom's guide. I didn't mean to "bury" it - please keep in mind that this thread gets an enormous readership. That said, I'm happy to move it to a separate thread in News and Media if you'd like - just let me know.]

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Well *I* for one was only trying to make a joke (which I still think is funny and has nothing to do with much of anything).

But to address your question, I'll take a Thai or Thai-American cooking my Thai food, anytime. Not saying white boys like me can't do it, but ...

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In Tom Sietsema’s First Bite column this morning on Station 4 by the Waterfront metro, there’s more than one thing that makes the restaurant website’s description of chef Orlando Amaro’s credentials a “tantalizing morsel”:

"In 2009, Amaro worked under the direction of Chef Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Girona, Spain."

It’s about a 28-mile drive from Girona to the site of El Bulli in Roses.

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From today's First Bite on Bobby's Burger Palace (http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/bobbys-burger-palace,1213663/critic-review.html):

...the interior of the city's latest addition to the ground-beef scene gives a friend and me plenty to amuse ourselves: counters with more curves than Mae West, striped overhead lights that suggest taffy being pulled and gorgeous outsize photographs of onions, tomatoes and potatoes. West Elm didn't dress the tasteful joint, but it could have.

(...) I'm charmed by the look of the place.

(...) The only thing we want after eating here is the number of the set dresser.

Tom,

As a quick google search shows, the restaurant was designed by Rockwell Group. They can be reached at 212-463-0334. For as much of the column as you spent writing about the design, it would have been really easy to credit them.

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From today's First Bite on Bobby's Burger Palace (http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/bobbys-burger-palace,1213663/critic-review.html):

Tom,

As a quick google search shows, the restaurant was designed by Rockwell Group. They can be reached at 212-463-0334. For as much of the column as you spent writing about the design, it would have been really easy to credit them.

I would suggest that the way he expressively described the interior of the restaurant did much more for their talent and credibility than listing their name and phone number as you did. I am sure they are extemely happy with his prose.

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I would suggest that the way he expressively described the interior of the restaurant did much more for their talent and credibility than listing their name and phone number as you did. I am sure they are extemely happy with his prose.

I doubt the international firm that already designs for Cirque Du Soleil and Nobu is going to have their credibility boosted by a mention in a First Bite column. It just seems that if you're going to the trouble of saying "West Elm didn't dress the tasteful joint", you may as well say who did.

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tom comes down hard on le zinc:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/le-zinc,1216058/critic-review.html

i have only eaten here once, a month or so ago, and didn't encounter these problems. i also didn't order what he compalins about. i started out with a salad special that was good, and if the ingredients were local I really didn't notice the difference. and then i had duck, but unfortunately don't remember much in detail. as for the roar of the dining room, it was early in the evening, before the rush. i haven't been back since, not because i was unhappy with the meal, but because it is on the expensive side, about as expensive as tabard inn, for example, where i had an even better time for about the same price, including lemon agnolotti that beat and were definitely more substantial than those earning all the praise at graffiato. for the value, i didn't see anything at zinc comparable to the three goat tacos at tabard inn that were almost substantial enough to make a meal of, for $10. off the top of my head, zinc costs as much as palena cafe, ripple and firefly, which i can't afford to get to nearly often enough as it is -- warts and all (there was definitely too much tapioca powder on the plates at ripple the last time i was there, for a rather self-conscious tomato festival that ended up doing a half-hearted job of celebrating the tomato on the plate. it was fine infused with bacon fat, but basil crumbs were not successful, clotting the flavor, and there was more of it, again i am short on details. i don't have a big problem with the serving portions on the regular menu, but since when does an amuse count as a course? i had two free ones in the back room at palena.)

my only complaint about zinc is that the menu felt a bit stiff, but the place is still young, so i would expect things to start loosening up.

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tom comes down hard on le zinc:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/le-zinc,1216058/critic-review.html

i have only eaten here once, a month or so ago, and didn't encounter these problems. i also didn't order what he compalins about.

Wow--TS was very harsh on BLZ. Reminds me of what he wrote about Mussel Bar when it first opened but I was more onboard with that one. Like GiantShrimp, I've only been to BLZ once, didn't order what TS ordered and didn't have the problems TS seems to have had. My experience detailed here. I do recall it having some noise but not at all to the level of not allowing me to talk with my dining companions.

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Wow--TS was very harsh on BLZ. Reminds me of what he wrote about Mussel Bar when it first opened but I was more onboard with that one. Like GiantShrimp, I've only been to BLZ once, didn't order what TS ordered and didn't have the problems TS seems to have had. My experience detailed here. I do recall it having some noise but not at all to the level of not allowing me to talk with my dining companions.

His Fall Dining Guide is out, and it runs the gamut from gas stations to gastrodomes.

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I should not care WTH Sietsema thinks because he is just a paid food critic to call it like he sees it and he's just one person with his own opinion.  But I am quite......fascinated at some of the places he decided to give 3 stars to (as compared to some of the places rated below that level). This guy is a befuddlement and I give his reviews really no weight anymore. Personally, I wish they would move on to someone new, but not going to lose any sleep over the fact if he stay another 5, 10 or 50 years.

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Any predictions on his top two?  Note that this year he's describing it as "top," not "favorite" or "best"--without any effort to describe what the criteria are.  Nos. 3-10:

3. Himitsu

4. Minibar

5. Métier

6.  Bad Saint

7. Tiger Fork

8.  ChiKo

9.  Salt Line

10. Sfoglina

I assume the contenders for the top two spots are:  Komi, Little Serow, Tail Up Goat, Rose's Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls, Kinship, Convivial, Fiola Mare, and All-Purpose.  Am I forgetting any possibilities? 

(My prediction:  TuG and P&P.)

image.png

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16 hours ago, Marty L. said:

Any predictions on his top two?  Note that this year he's describing it as "top," not "favorite" or "best"--without any effort to describe what the criteria are.  Nos. 3-10:

3. Himitsu

4. Minibar

5. Métier

6.  Bad Saint

7. Tiger Fork

8.  ChiKo

9.  Salt Line

10. Sfoglina

I assume the contenders for the top two spots are:  Komi, Little Serow, Tail Up Goat, Rose's Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls, Kinship, Convivial, Fiola Mare, and All-Purpose.  Am I forgetting any possibilities? 

(My prediction:  TuG and P&P.)

image.png

P&P is No. 2.  Unless he pulls a weird All-Purpose surprise again, I'd say the top spot is almost certain to go to Komi, TuG, or Fiola Mare.

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