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Restaurant Girl's Print Debut: The Aftermath

Now that Restaurant Girl Danyelle Freeman's first review, of Gemma, has dropped, we come to the matter of how the New York food set took it. In short, based on this roundup of what the heavies have said, not too well. Ultimately we'll judge the RG on her prose, take and, down the road, influence; but here's the early verdict:

1) "Things That Make Us Go Wha'?: RG's first photo spread review came out this morning, in which she criticizes Gemma, which is barely open but already trendy. In short, the sort of place we would never go anyway. Here are a couple of vocabulary choices from the piece that have us scratching our heads, or even feeling slightly uncomfortable..."The enormous wood oven also births sweet sensations, including an excellent dessert calzone."" [Eat for Victory]

2) "Being able to read a menu with your breasts while you gaze winsomely at the camera must be a real plus for a restaurant critic. If Grimes had learned this trick, he might not be stuck reviewing books now." [Gurgling Cod]

3) "Apparently the Daily News saw Dining’s tits and decided to raise them. What it’s selling is not exactly expertise and integrity, let alone proficiency with transitions, but then this is a paper that lets Grandpa Hinckley dribble into his culinary diaper on a regular basis, not to mention one that has no money for original food content on Sunday but plenty to send “reporters” flying off after Britney’s flingee...The funniest thing is that I told my consort this could be the tipping point, that we might have to cancel our subscription, and he responded: “But what about the comics?” And he’s right. We do need it for laughs, and it looks as if she delivers." [Regina Schrambling]

4) "The nation's first food blogger-turned-restaurant critic, Danyelle Freeman, comes out swinging in her debut column in the New York Daily News...Freeman did convey enough information to let me know that I would probably not enjoy Gemma. She is no better or no worse than many other restaurant critics all around the country. Clearly, from looking at the photos in the paper and elsewhere, Freeman aspires to be the Carrie Bradshaw of the food world. But Carrie Bradshaw's columns on Sex and the City were well-written. Sara Jessica Parker's Bradshaw was much more than a pretty face." [Levine]

5) "Tonight Danyelle is sounding brave but is clearly rubbed a little raw by her fellow bloggers’ snarky response to the news that she’s landed a restaurant column in the Daily News. “They don’t have to be so mean,” she says, settling into a chair in front of Leonardo Da Vinci’s portrait of La Bella Ferroniere, one of the stunning giant photo-shopped blowups of women by Italian painters, which is definitely the best thing about the restaurant. Leonardo’s babe looks like she eats. Danyelle is suspiciously thin for a restaurant critic in a summery cotton halter dress. “They say I can’t be a critic because my photograph is out there. I don’t think you need to be anonymous.” “I think you do,” says her mentor." [Gael Greene]

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