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Flacks: Maybe Think Twice Before Inviting Gael Greene to Your Bad Restaurant

After five invitations from a publicist Gael Greene visits a French bistro called Paneme. And hates it.

Veteran critic Gael Greene has not lost her spark at the ripe old age of 80. In today's edition of her email newsletter, she calls out a PR person by name — hey Miriam Silverberg! — for aggressively pushing her client's disappointing restaurant Paneme upon her and then eviscerate the restaurant. Some choice lines:

It was the bread that tolled the leaden funeral bell. The three of us stared at it -- the hateful cotton-stuffed baguette you used to find everywhere in the 60s and 70s before Manhattan discovered great bread. Before Eli. Before Amy. Before Tomcat. What good little French bistro -- "just like Paris," the press agent Miriam Silverberg assured me -- would serve this bread?

The wine is warm, the service is bad, they won't serve the pork rare, the scallops are overdone, and "the flesh of the roasted duck with its too sweet and sour mango sauce has a sense of history." The best is her ending:

Paname..."is no big deal," Silverberg had written in her third or fourth or fifth urging to me. "And nothing elaborate." Sorry Miriam, it was even less than that. It's not worth writing about Paname, I suppose, but I'm intrigued by publicist loyalty. There were many five stars review in Yelp. Were they you, Miriam?

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