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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to sniff out the shills so you don't have to, this edition of Adventures in Shilling calls out newcomer Hotel Griffou, FiDi's incessant shiller Onda, and the not so well known Tagine Dining Gallery. To the culprits:
First up, a slightly suspicious rave for newcomer Hotel Griffou from the inbox:
"I had the pleasure of dining at Hotel Griffou tonight, and I must say that this is my new favorite restaurant in the area. After years of loyalty to the Waverly Inn, I must say that they should be afraid. As I waited to be seated because it was very lively with a very chic crowd I waited at the beautiful bar that serves up some of the most amazing specialty cocktails I have seen! My date enjoyed the "trophy wife" as I drooled over the "Navy Grog." Im telling you this place is amazing! Very well thought out design and layout. The staff was also very charming and happy to be working there. We had for starters Lobster thermidor fondue, which was to die for! & the poutine was exquisite. For dinner the Steak diane is out of this world! And my date really enjoyed her Stuffed lobster tail..."
Shill Probability: 73%
A reader points out this highly suspicious Yelp review from a newcomer:
"EXCELLENT! If this little place was located in SoHo, it would be jammed pack ALL the time. The service is awesome, very friendly and attentive and the food is AMAZING. I had brunch there this weekend and plan on trying dinner later on this week! The garbanzo dipping sauce is awesome, the fries are sooo yummy! The food was very fresh and I highly recommend ONDA!"
Shill Probability: 86%
The biggest giveaway here? The Tagine Dining Gallery reviewer, who is writing her first ever entry, is named "tonitangine":
"unlike the other reviewer, we booked a birthday for 20 diners and a larger party for drinks. We were seated immediately and I had spoken with Toni and organized a prix fixe family style dinner which was a great idea. The portions were large and generous. More importantly the cuisine, every dish, was absolutely mouthwatering yummy. The drinks were generous, strong and well priced as compared to other restaurant where I have hosted parties. The dancers were great fun and made sure we were given these jingly scarves. The service was great, and it was so helpful to have Toni hosting the party and directing every last detail, she also introduced the chef to us...sooo cute!..."
Shill Probability: 92%