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The New Mia Dona, Francois Chocolate Bar, and Patty & Bun

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It's time for another edition of Adventures in Shilling, in which we fight shilling the best way we can, by shaming tasteless, unscrupulous shills into submission. Well, that's the plan, at least. Fight shills yourself by dropping offensive links to

2008_03_mia_dona.jpgToday, the radar detects shills coming from posts about the newcomers Patty & Bun and Francois Chocolate Bar and the revamp of Mia Dona. Let's get started.

After a couple of ambivalent and negative posts show up on the Menupages page for 8th Street newcomer Patty & Bun, these three raves show up within the next three days with similar language. Here's one, titled "My new burger and steak house destination":

This was the best filet migon i have had besides going to steak houses and haveing pay $40 for it. Perfectly cooked and seasoned with a plate licking bourbon sauce and only $24.. My friend had the burger and was equally impressed. The bun and the beef were perfectly portioned. The burger was juicy and thick. I already did recommend it to friends.

And the second:

I love the term Tavern, that is exactly what Patty & Bun is. A bar with great tap beers and wine and liquor. And the food-DELICIOUS! and unique. Music, mood lighting and lots of atmosphere. You really get your monies worth.
And just for kicks, a look at the Yelp page:
This place has ALL the qualities that gets restaurants LANDMARKED! Patty and Bun Tavern is AMAZING! I am not sure if I want to write more about the atmosphere, the crowd, or the food. All were fabulous. A haven for burger lovers, but don't be fooled by the name. One look at the chic decor; wall art, copper lighting, and amazing woodwork and patrons will know this place is much much more than a burger joint.
Shill Probability: 69%

Francois Payard opened a chocolate bar in a jewelry shop this month. The following is a comment left on a Serious Eats review that seems to have now been deleted:

This new place is great. The desserts are fantastic, they don't lack anything. I guess the critic must have been in a bad mood that day and everything was disappointing and made extensive efforts to trash Francois and made it look like he closed Payard because he was bad but the real reason is that they lost their lease. But there is nothing to be disappointed about. I couldn't be happier that Francois is back, he is a 12 year old vet in the UES and he will remain to be one of the best when it comes to sweets, after all he's French. Francois' pastries are delicious, you can't even find such creations elsewhere, and Marie Belle is closed plus they didn't even have
pastries. I love that you go to this very posh jewelry shop to get to FC Bar, very European. Try the dessert with the balsamic, it is to die for. Oh, now you can also order your holiday cakes on their website.
Shill Probability: 76%

Meanwhile, there are an alarming number of anonymous commenters raving about the new version of Mia Dona which, by the way, only reopened six days ago. It always has been a solid restaurant, and the first positive mention, left by a longtime commenter, is fine. However the four following mentions seems suspect:

Cant wait to stop into Mia Donna this week. The place looks great, the menu is cheap, the owner is cool and the staff is always nice and welcoming. Its definitely one of the best dinner spots in the city.
M dot

What a treat - welcome back Mia Dona - in a GREAT way! I ate there last night and was thrilled to see such an appealing menu that did not break the bank. I was a happy customer before my food even arrived. Everything was delicious - super fresh with high-quality ingredients. I already have plans to go back!

Oh boy. This was such an unexpected surprise for me! I tagged along with a friend and her idle time my benefit! We enjoyed delicious and reasonably priced wine, followed by some yummy snack bites- mini calzones, olives and cheese etc. Everything is fresh, tasty and the price is right!

Dropped in last weekend to check out the new digs and have a drink. My friend and l loved the atmosphere, the staff was welcoming, nice wine. Can't wait to go back for lunch/dinner.

Shill Probability: 87%

Mia Dona

206 East 58th St., New York, NY