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The Rise and Fall of the Restaurant Review


Should restaurant reviews be fluff pieces or food porn? 

Should they read like interesting adventure stories with sensual descriptions? 

Should they be a factual service to the ordinary consumer? 

Should you take their word for it on Chowhound, or is the job best left to elite professionals?

Here is a wonderful article that addresses all this and more, including a terrific history of the restaurant review genre at The New York Times, from Craig Claiborne to Gail Greene, Ruth Reichl and the unanonymous Sam Sifton of present.  Loved this piece in the Columbia Journalism Review.

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Thanks for bringing this article to my attention. Ruth Reichl really improved the food section of the NYTimes with her literary style. I remember a time when I was a student in Judith Crist’s class at Columbia U. She asked us to bring in a sample of good writing and I took in a restaurant review of Reichl’s. I love all the books she has since written since leaving the Times and mourn the loss of Gourmet Magazine.

    – ciaochowlinda (February 10 2010 at 11:39)

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