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Brasserie 44 and the Curious Case of the Critic's Notebook

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The Daily News' Rush & Molloy had the story this morning of a critic's notebook left at Brasserie 44, John McDonald's new midtown restaurant. The story went that waiters discovered a notebook down its owner. To determine the owner of it they peeked inside. There, they found "sophisticated" tasting notes, leaving them to believe it could only have belonged to The Bruni. But it wasn't Bruni's; as he later explained to the restaurant, he wasn't even there. And thus a mystery was born. And, it seemed quickly solved: The Restaurant Girl filed from Brasserie 44 today, which as far as circumstantial evidence goes is a pretty convincing case for the notebook being hers.

But, then, she wrote us this morning to say that her notebook is safely in hand and that, furthermore, hers is monogrammed. This notebook of which the Daily News speaks: ain't the RG's.

Which led us back to Mr. Bruni.

Reached via email, the Bruni was surprised by the Daily News report:

I got a call from Rush and Molloy asking about this notebook, I'd received a call and an e-mail from John McDonald saying I'd been SPOTTED in the restaurant and it was noticed that I'd left a book or notebook --- it wasn't clear to me what exactly it was supposed to be --- and that they wanted, despite the discomfort of acknowledging that they knew I was there, to return it to me.
But I told them the truth: neither on the night in question or on any night anywhere near it had I been in the restaurant. The person he supposedly thought was me wasn't. But I thanked him: I was grateful for the impulse. He had also said something about not wanting to open the book out of respect for privacy and I messaged back that he should open it to find out whose it was: wasn't mine, so none of my privacy violated. He said his visual memory of me must not be as good as he thought it was.
Indeed, as the Daily News noted, it wasn't the Bruni's notebook. (There is, viz the Bruni, the unresolved matter of conflicting reports over whether the notebook was opened or not.)

But, if it's not the RG's and it's not the Bruni's, and it's not Mr. Platt's, which critic—one who takes sophisticated notes—is down a notebook? Is there even a critic down a notebook? A curious case indeed.
· Week in Reviews: The RG 1.5 Stars Brasserie 44 [~E~]

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