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Shills for Garden Spot Cafe, Graffit, Compose, and More

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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

2011_01_composeshill.jpgToday, the intrepid shill detectives on Team Eater find suspicious reviews of relative newcomers Compose in Tribeca, Spasso in the West Village, Graffit on the Upper West Side, and Garden Spot Cafe—a tricky case—in Greenpoint. To the shills:

One Eater commenter takes issue with the Good News/Bad News post on Upper West Side newcomer Graffit:

Is this really an article? A compliation of other people's reviews? Are we getting lazy Eater? Please go and see for yourself. I have been there twice and experienced service issues the first time but keep in mind it was day 3! The food was great though so I just went again last night and had a fantastic experience and it is only week 3! As far as the people complaining about Tapas in the dining room, if they didnt accomodate you I'm surprised since they did for me.
Shill Probability: 67%

The shilling seems to continue in the Eater comments for Bobby Werhane's new Italian restaurant Spasso. We believe it's good, but the comment thread is getting a tad suspicious:

Went with a couple of my friends and had a great time . The place is hip, cool and the food is amazing [ had the pork ragu]. Next time I am bringing my girlfriend, if I can get a table.
Shill Probability: 68%

A suspicious sounding review of new chef's table restaurant Compose:

Had the tasting dinner at Compose on Monday, thought the meal was extraordinary. The young staff was did a fantastic job. The chef is doing true progressive cuisine, so to that extent the food may be a little challenging, although despite some of the cutting edge technique, the food was uniformly perfectly prepared, delightful in flavor and presentation, and there was nothing so "out there" that any experienced diner would find offensive. In particular, seared uncured Jamon Iberico was a revelation.
Shill Probability: 75%

When even Yelp is filtering more than half of the reviews for an establishment, as it does for Garden Spot Cafe, chances are there's some shilling going on. And for this place it seems there's shilling from both sides, with some people weighing in with extremely positive reviews and others with extremely negative ones. Here's a filtered review from a first time Yelper:

My husband and I stopped for dinner last Saturday night. The staff warmly greeted us and the service was good. Although the menu was not extensive, we were pleasantly surprised by our choices. I had the grilled salmon with finger potatoes both were nicely seasoned. My husband had the roasted chicken & garlic potatoes and he is still talking about how delicious it was. Everything on the menu was moderately priced. We definitely will be going back!
Shill Probability: 89%
· Previous Editions of Adventures in Shilling [~ENY~]


551 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 (212) 858-3838


141 West 69th Street, New York, NY 10023 646-692-8762


77 Worth St., New York, NY