Those who begged former Times critic Frank Bruni to come back to the job, if only in the interim between Sam Sifton and the next guy (or, more likely, gal), may have to make do with his Op-Ed piece today, in which he reports feeling bamboozled by the new pricey and pretentious restaurant Romera. He makes fun of the lukewarm aromatic waters, is baffled by the waiters who implore him to "make a memory" of the food he's consuming, and quotes liberally from the restaurant's floral menu cards. He doesn't touch much on the food and does not call out the restaurant for its base price of $245 a head. But he does write:
We’ve tumbled far, far down the organic rabbit hole. And with Romera, which opened a month ago in Chelsea, we may have finally hit bottom...It’s the craziest example I’ve encountered of the way our culture’s food madness tips into food psychosis...it’s such a florid demonstration of just how much culinary vanity we’ve encouraged and pretension we’ve unleashed.In the middle somewhere he sneaks in a classic Bruni line, "While blazers are optional at Romera, straitjackets would be a fine idea."