NY TImes food writer, author and blogger Mark Bittman blogged today about an unnamed chef and South Florida restaurant. In his "Open Letter to An Unnamed Chef," Bittman describes "some disturbing trends here, and they're widespread, not only nationally but globally. (Fortunately they're not nearly universal)." Reason why Bittman kept it anonymous was because he was "trying not to damage a perhaps well-deserved reputation on the basis of one visit to an obviously new and still wrinkly restaurant."
But among his chief complaints: "A list of 20 beers, without a single person in the restaurant who knows anything about them," "An insistence by the hostess that the chairs at the communal table were comfortable," "The constant harping of the server that the self-declared unusual menu (it comprised primarily small plates, which I think we've all seen before, unless we're visiting from Labrador) meant that we had to order a great deal," "The presence of the chef/owner, who never once took the time to ask any patron how things were going, but instead watched his staff, without actually touching, cooking, or tasting the food," and "Not very good food at high prices," among many others.
More hints: tuna tartare in ice cream cones, noisy room and attitude "indicating we were lucky to be there." Note: Bittman says "This is South Florida, not South Beach." Yet it sounds like so many restaurants there, too. Feel free to post your guesses in the comment section because, like the servers with the beer, we haven't a clue. [MarkBittman.com]