In a very Obama-esque move, the SF Chronicle's critic and food editor Michael Bauer is bringing Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi to work for him. Hillary (ahem) … Lucchesi, who has infused Eater with a good sense of fun since it launched in San Francisco, will be missed, but he certainly will spice up the paper's online presence—something it could definitely use. Bauer is a smart man. The biggest question though is what should we call Mr. Lucchesi now? The Paolorizer? The Big Easy? The Italian Job? Let me know.
Any chef in town that recognizes SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer (the majority) knows Michael Murphy’s face almost as well. Murphy is not a food writer but he holds sway for one reason: He’s Michael Bauer’s longtime partner and fellow diner for many a review meal.
• Z is For Zesty? The Times serves up an A-to-(almost)-Z guide of summer drinking by definition.
• The Mission District's latest "clean, family-friendly, neighborhood place featuring hand-thrown, thin-crust pizza made from locally-sourced ingredients" also has intentions to be "well-lit." Michael Bauer can leave his flashlight at home.
Michael Bauer blogged today about bringing Ed Levine (the NY-based food writer and pizza fanatic) to Gialina, the Glen Park pizzeria that Bauer claims makes the best pizza in SF. Then he threw in this little diss:
On the way to Gialina, Levine stops by Delfina Pizzeria and Bi-Rite. "[Ed] thought [Bi-Rite] ice cream was much better than the [Pizzeria Delfina] pizza, which he said was good but not great"
A couple of weeks ago, the Chicago-based Menu Pages blog posted an article entitled “Why Does Everyone Hate John Mariani?” It all started when Esquire critic—and author of the influential “Best New Restaurants” list—was in Chicago doing his rounds, which provoked some irate tweets from the likes of the chef de cuisine of Alinea about Mariani’s unethical ways—predominately about his decided lack of anonymity. Let’s just say the word “douchebaggery” was slung. (Why do bloggers and tweeters insist on using variations on this word?)
The food world is all abuzz this morning with the news that Frank Bruni, restaurant critic for the New York Times, will be stepping down from his post following the release of his memoir in late August. (The food critic memoir: Everyone's doing it.) It's probably not an overstatement to say that Bruni has had the single-most powerful restaurant reviewing job out there, so bets are already being placed on his likely replacement. I like Bruni, but judging from some of the responses to his departure, there are plenty who are happy to see him go.
Michael Bauer's reviews have become a hot topic in our office these last few weeks. After Sara posted her response to his harsh review of Acme Chophouse, we received an unprecedented number of emails and comments. Some people told us off. Others, notably lots of chefs, heard just where we were coming from. Many of them said they too were sick of the Bauer tyranny, but also so afraid of his influence—both here and nationally—to go on the record about how they really feel.
I just got back from a four-night trip to NYC. Although I was there with Joe for his birthday, it just so happened that the Beard Awards were last night. The Twitter board was jumping with SF chefs tweeting about their flights out to NYC (Coi's Daniel Patterson is apparently no longer a virgin on Virgin America).