Nonshocker No. 1: Steve Cuozzo has a thing or two to say about Frank Bruni leaving the Times. Nonshocker No. 2: He thinks other own food criticism—including his own, natch—is just as, if not more, influential that that of the Times, whose power to make or break a restaurant has been in decline over the last decade.
The Cuozz's main points: Kids these days don't read the Times, they read Zagat (Yelp is probably a better guess); rich foreigners read Michelin; blogs exhaust all there is to say about a restaurant before Brunz gets there. Therefore, some restaurants that the Times approves of (Bar Q, Bar Milano) go under, and even more importantly, many zero to one stars remain open (Ninja, Mercer Kitchen), an echo to what Charles owner Cobi Levy wrote in his Bruni reaction this week.
It's a rather convenient notion that restaurants went out of business 10 years ago due to one negative word from Reichl, yet now they falter because of a critical mass of negative press. But we put it to you. Did a negative review have more punch pre-Bruni? And if so, to the Cuozz's question: "...who'd want a job so uniquely demanding, yet now with scarcely a whiff of the might that once made it worth the agita?" We think we know a few people.
· What Star Power? Times Food Reviews = Bubkus [NYP]
· All Bruniocalypse Coverage [~E~]