New York Magazine Restaurant Critic Decides It’s Time to Lose the Fake Anonymity

To go along with his noggin on the cover of the latest issue, New York restaurant critic Adam Platt has penned a very funny essay about the antiquated business of restaurant critics working their beat anonymously. He explains that a large reason for his decision to come appetizer-plate clean in 2014 is that the on-paper napkin crux of this time-honored journalism tradition wasn’t fooling anyone:

Do they [restaurants] know who you are? (Of course they do.) So why do you register under an assumed name? (Because chefs would otherwise prepare for my arrival.) Will they come up and say hello? (Probably not.) Why not? (Because they’re pretending I’m not here.) Why are they doing that? (Because they want to pretend I’m having a “normal” dining experience.) So ordering the entire menu in one sitting is a “normal” dining experience? (Umm, maybe not for you …)

Well, after dutifully playing my part in this dated charade, I have an announcement to make. Starting with this issue, I would like readers to know what restaurateurs around town have known for years. Adam Platt is a tall, top-heavy, round-faced gentleman who often dresses for dinner in the same dark, boxy, sauce-stained coat he bought off the rack at Rochester Big & Tall thirteen years ago…

Platt will continue to rely on the “art of surprise” and making restaurant reservations under assumed names. He hints that the made-up monikers are as ridiculous as those A-list celebrities like Johnny Depp have also been known to use when making hotel reservations. Read the rest of Platt’s piece here.

Previously on Mediabistro:
LA Times Food Critic Decries Vietnam Restaurant Ambush

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.