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  • Post #361 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Post #361 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:39 pm Post #361 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:39 pm
    FOIA requests only pertain to the government.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #362 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:40 pm
    Post #362 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:40 pm Post #362 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:40 pm
    mhill95149 wrote:
    phillipfoss wrote: or in the worst case scenario, ask me for the bill or to bring me more bread thinking I am their server.


    I think if I was in your place and the person asking me had no idea that I was the executive chef
    I'd get the bread or get someone to get their check and just move on. Showing your frustration over being confused with a server would be a clear sign to your staff of what you think of their role on your team.


    Just because it frustrates me doesn't mean I hold my nose up and ignore what they want.
    And my team - for better or worse - knows what I think of them and the roles they play.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #363 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:42 pm
    Post #363 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:42 pm Post #363 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:42 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:Actually this isn't true. Most people want the generic experience otherwise they would be happy to ask for a better one. And this business about name dropping is silly. That's the system the restaurants have set up. They want people to name drop in order to get First Class rather than Coach treatment.

    That this is being presented as universal fact is amusing to me. This is the case, eh? You don't believe any of the restaurants who are giving you the First Class treatment because they've been told you run a national restaurant survey do so through gritted teeth? I also find it terrible how this criterion is self-fulfilling. All four star restaurants willingly and happily do and expect this. If one doesn't, it doesn't disprove my assertion that all four star restaurants want me to name drop, it just demonstrates that it's not a four star restaurant.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #364 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm
    Post #364 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm Post #364 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:I am disappointed by the perjorative way people who are merely looking for the best dining experience are being described as "A-Holes." I mean do you think anyone does this to be a big shot. Isn't it possible that they are more poassionate or knowledgable about dining than you are? Why do you insist on characterizing them in an offputting way?

    Let me make up a hypothetical example and see what you guys have to say about it. There is a very famous restaurant in the Oregon wine country called the Italian Lavatory. One of the specialties of the house is game. On the day you are scheduled to go, their normal game supplier walks in with three very special wood pigeons. The problem is, there are 12 reservations that night and not everyone can be offered wood pigeon. How should the restaurant determine who they offer it to?

    I am disappointed by the way you focused on one very small part of my post and took it completely out of context. Also, based on the fact that you don't know me, it's quite presumptuous of you to state that my unwillingness to "play the game", as it were, is any indication of my level of passion or knowledge.

    For the record, my full statement was: "if it's demonstrated that acting like an entitled a-hole, or a pompous bigshot, or a name dropper, or whatever...results in better service, guess what more and more people are going to do as word spreads?". To twist this into me calling people who seek out fine dining experiences "a-holes" (and I don't even know what to make of your "bigshot" comment), is either a sign of careless skimming, irresponsible context-twisting, or indicative of reading comprehension issues.

    What I said was that, if people start to see that acting a certain way gets results, they will begin to act this way also...not because these are their true colors, but because they're in search of a "better" culinary experience and are willing to behave a certain way (no matter how out-of-character it may be for them) in the belief that the ends justify the means. I disagree with this belief & mentality. Have I behaved this way before? Absolutely. And I felt like a sleazebag afterward, a dirty, unpleasant feeling which greatly influenced my current opinions on this issue.
    Last edited by Khaopaat on September 3rd, 2009, 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #365 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm
    Post #365 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm Post #365 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:43 pm
    GAF wrote:Chef Foss's response suggests a related issue that might belong on some other thread of whether he (or other chefs) would appreciate knowing that there was another chef in the house. Should chefs, dining in a colleague's restaurant, announce themselves, and will they receive special treatment.


    Good point... I do want to know when they come in. Though there really aren't pending reviews as a result of this.
    I can see how it can be a confusing and even contradictory line.
    Last edited by phillipfoss on September 3rd, 2009, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #366 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    Post #366 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:44 pm Post #366 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:44 pm
    jpschust wrote:FOIA requests only pertain to the government.

    Yes, yes, I know, was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But still....a girl can dream.
    "People sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong person"--Mark Twain
  • Post #367 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:46 pm
    Post #367 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:46 pm Post #367 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:46 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:Let me make up a hypothetical example and see what you guys have to say about it. There is a very famous restaurant in the Oregon wine country called the Italian Lavatory. One of the specialties of the house is game. On the day you are scheduled to go, their normal game supplier walks in with three very special wood pigeons. The problem is, there are 12 reservations that night and not everyone can be offered wood pigeon. How should the restaurant determine who they offer it to?

    I'll bite, now that I'm back in front of the computer.

    However they damn well please, and not out of a sense of obligation to a blogger who's throwing his weight around because they fear potential repercussions if they don't.

    If I don't answer your next question, it's because I have to go catch a plane, not because I'm stopped dead in my tracks by your brilliant
    hypothetical.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #368 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:47 pm
    Post #368 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:47 pm Post #368 - September 3rd, 2009, 1:47 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:
    phillipfoss wrote:Regarding critics announcing themselves, I am strongly against this. As a responsible chef, I will probably pay more attention to your table because of the pr reprocussions. But I will also go into the back of the house and obnoxiously let the entire team know what I think of this seemingly desperate gesture of announcing yourself. You have a much better chance of winning affection/attention by letting me know you are a connoisseur by how you order. Then go and write about it if you wish. Though I doubt Chef Gras simply ignored you because you were a writer, I would applaud him for having the balls if he did.


    The third thing is, if I wait to impress the kitchen by how I order, that precludes the chef from choosing my meal which is what I want so your point doesn't make sense.


    Ordering a tasting menu is the equivalent.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #369 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:00 pm
    Post #369 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:00 pm Post #369 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:00 pm
    phillipfoss wrote:
    mhill95149 wrote:
    phillipfoss wrote: or in the worst case scenario, ask me for the bill or to bring me more bread thinking I am their server.


    I think if I was in your place and the person asking me had no idea that I was the executive chef
    I'd get the bread or get someone to get their check and just move on. Showing your frustration over being confused with a server would be a clear sign to your staff of what you think of their role on your team.


    Just because it frustrates me doesn't mean I hold my nose up and ignore what they want.
    And my team - for better or worse - knows what I think of them and the roles they play.



    Sorry, I guess since you used the phrase "worst case scenario" I took it to mean something worse than you meant to say.
  • Post #370 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:01 pm
    Post #370 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:01 pm Post #370 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:01 pm
    Dmnkly wrote:However they damn well please, and not out of a sense of obligation to a blogger who's throwing his weight around because they fear potential repercussions if they don't.


    But this is the part I don't understand. You have no basis to know if they give it to me because I am throwing my wreight around, or that I know how to appreciate it more than the average diner. You frame the issue as the former for no reason other than its convenient to the conclusion you want to come to. Why won't you consider the latter?

    There are a host of bloggers, Chuckeats, Ulterior Epicure, A Life Worth Eating to name a few, whose writings on food has more impact on restaurants than other bloggers who write about the same restaurants. Hence, they get better treatment. They don't get better treatment because they are throwing their weight around, they get better treatment because the restaurants know they have a higher understanding of cuisine than the average person does and people read their blogs. And that's before we get to regulars who keep a restaurant in business. If some guy spends $20K a year at Trotter's, shouldn't Charlie offer him the wood pigeon before he offers it to Joe Blow?
  • Post #371 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:05 pm
    Post #371 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:05 pm Post #371 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:05 pm
    As I'm reading (and thoroughly enjoying) this thread, this old Todd Rundgren song keeps running through my head.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzdqD3sQ-Xc

    It starts at 3:09.
  • Post #372 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:12 pm
    Post #372 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:12 pm Post #372 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:12 pm
    My question is, if restaurant owners, chefs, etc were sick of the "I am Blogger X or critic Y, or Foodie Z the way many of you seem to be, wouldn't that reflect in the way they were treated causing said customers to act differently when evaluating a restaurant? If chef purposely gave less than stellar service or food to such people one would think they would start eating anonymously more often.
  • Post #373 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:17 pm
    Post #373 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:17 pm Post #373 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:17 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:
    Dmnkly wrote:There are a host of bloggers, Chuckeats, Ulterior Epicure, A Life Worth Eating to name a few, whose writings on food has more impact on restaurants than other bloggers who write about the same restaurants. Hence, they get better treatment. They don't get better treatment because they are throwing their weight around, they get better treatment because the restaurants know they have a higher understanding of cuisine than the average person does and people read their blogs. And that's before we get to regulars who keep a restaurant in business. [b]If some guy spends $20K a year at Trotter's, shouldn't Charlie offer him the wood pigeon before he offers it to Joe Blow?


    Steve, I admire the fact you have maintained civility in the face of many of those that are against your perspective but if I am a regular at a restaurant, I may get preferential treatment due to them knowing me. It has nothing to do with being a blogger or not.

    Someone that has spent 20k will probably be noticed. Someone who emails staff in advance to notify them how they would like special treatment because they feel they are important is not the same.
  • Post #374 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:25 pm
    Post #374 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:25 pm Post #374 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:25 pm
    Why not? I might be able to deliver the restaurant the same 20K in business, or more. But did it ever occur to you guys that a restaurant likes people who can appreciate their cuisine and they prefer giving the best food to the most appreciative diners? I mean let's use any of the bloggers I mentioned in the post above. Even without knowing the people here, I suspect that the bloggers I mentioned know more about cuisine than almost anyone here. So why wouldn't a restaurant want to give them special treatment on that reason alone?
  • Post #375 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Post #375 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:26 pm Post #375 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:26 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote: Even without knowing the people here, I suspect that the bloggers I mentioned know more about cuisine than almost anyone here.


    You outdo yourself with every post.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #376 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:28 pm
    Post #376 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:28 pm Post #376 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:28 pm
    Steve, the difference is that the regular who spends $20K is being rewarded for his patronage at the restaurant's discretion. You are, by your own admission, attempting o obtain that same unearned reward through a coercive technique. Even if you don't see a problem with the latter, surely you can perceive the significant difference? In one case the restaurant is bestowing a gift. In the other, you peering at a gift that's sitting on the table, raising your eyebrows and clearing your throat. Can you really not see the difference?
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #377 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:29 pm
    Post #377 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:29 pm Post #377 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:29 pm
    Kennyz wrote:
    You outdo yourself with every post.


    I agree Kenny.

    but for some reason I just cant quit coming back and reading this trainwreck of a thread. I guess it is the not knowing what pompous statement is coming next from our out of town "friend". :lol:
  • Post #378 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:32 pm
    Post #378 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:32 pm Post #378 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:32 pm
    jimswside wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:
    You outdo yourself with every post.


    I agree Kenny.

    but for some reason I just cant quit coming back and reading this trainwreck of a thread. I guess it is the not knowing what pompous statement is coming next from our out of town "friend". :lol:


    Yeah, I know what you mean. I have no idea whether he really has any readership, but if he does I could certainly understand why. There's not a thing of value coming from him, but it is entertaining.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #379 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:37 pm
    Post #379 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:37 pm Post #379 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:37 pm
    You mean letting the restaurant know in advance that there are going to be people there who really appreciate cuisine and who are also in a position to help their business is a coercive technique? Excuse me for saying it this way but that's nuts.

    Look, where your argument falls apart is that you too can get the very same treatment I get IF YOU ASK FOR IT. I assure you if you were to be dining at the Italian Lavatory on wood pigeon night, and you were able to communicate to the kitchen that you were an experienced diner and were looking for something special, there's a shot they would offer you one of the wood pigeons. And the reason for that is their business is driven by experienced and informed diners, whether they be bloggers, guys with big wallets who spend $20K a year, or gourmands who will simply tell their friends how great their meal was. Incidental diners don't get the same treatment because they don't have the same potential impact on a restaurant's business
  • Post #380 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:46 pm
    Post #380 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:46 pm Post #380 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:46 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:Why not? I might be able to deliver the restaurant the same 20K in business, or more. But did it ever occur to you guys that a restaurant likes people who can appreciate their cuisine and they prefer giving the best food to the most appreciative diners? I mean let's use any of the bloggers I mentioned in the post above. Even without knowing the people here, I suspect that the bloggers I mentioned know more about cuisine than almost anyone here. So why wouldn't a restaurant want to give them special treatment on that reason alone?

    I think you mistake exposure for knowledge. Maybe you conflate them. It would explain a lot. But at the very least, you presume far, far too much. About a lot of things.
    Last edited by Dmnkly on September 3rd, 2009, 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #381 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:47 pm
    Post #381 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:47 pm Post #381 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:47 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:you too can get the very same treatment I get IF YOU ASK FOR IT. I assure you if you were to be dining at the Italian Lavatory on wood pigeon night, and you were able to communicate to the kitchen that you were an experienced diner and were looking for something special, there's a shot they would offer you one of the wood pigeons.


    Or they might offer you an oversalted cod and charge you $25 extra for it.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #382 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:56 pm
    Post #382 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:56 pm Post #382 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:56 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:You mean letting the restaurant know in advance that there are going to be people there who really appreciate cuisine and who are also in a position to help their business is a coercive technique? Excuse me for saying it this way but that's nuts.

    It's so interesting for me to hear this perspective. I sometimes wonder if Steve is for-real or if this is just an online persona of some kind. Amazingly, it seems nuts to me to call a restaurant to tell them in advance that I "really appreciate cuisine." This is self-evident if I am there and willing to spend my money. The calling in seems to have ulterior motives, which have been pointed out and accepted.
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:Look, where your argument falls apart is that you too can get the very same treatment I get IF YOU ASK FOR IT.

    I'm guessing that this is your whole business angle or your trademark as a blogger/writer/whatever and that is fine by me. You teach people how to "ask for it." But, who in their right minds would want to get the same treatment you got at L.20? You would likely have been better off with the tasting menu. Seems to me like your approach just gets in the way of the restaurant doing what they do best. Your approach sounds like a McDonalized, WalMartish way to get what a regular at a restaurant earns. It backfired at L20 and my guess is that it will backfire again and more often in the future. Good luck getting them wood ducks.
    Last edited by r2g on September 3rd, 2009, 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #383 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:57 pm
    Post #383 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:57 pm Post #383 - September 3rd, 2009, 2:57 pm
    The wood pigeons kind of remind of a dinner I had at Everest. The chef has a few game hens that he has not put on the menu. They're very special ( I want to feel special).... Of course ours had buckshot in them.....
  • Post #384 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:14 pm
    Post #384 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:14 pm Post #384 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:14 pm
    r2g wrote:
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:You mean letting the restaurant know in advance that there are going to be people there who really appreciate cuisine and who are also in a position to help their business is a coercive technique? Excuse me for saying it this way but that's nuts.

    It's so interesting for me to hear this perspective. I sometimes wonder if Steve is for-real or if this is just an online persona of some kind. Amazingly, it seems nuts to me to call a restaurant to tell them in advance that I "really appreciate cuisine." This is self-evident if I am there and willing to spend my money. The calling in seems to have ulterior motives, which have been pointed out and accepted.


    The fact that you are there doesn't necessarily mean that you're communicating that you "really appreciate cuisine". Plenty of people go to high end places because they think that's where they're "supposed to go". That being said, there are plenty of ways to communicate that you "really appreciate cuisine"...from announcing yourself in advance (which people seem to be taking issue with) to asking questions and engaging with the staff at a restaurant. I mean, I'm an absolute nobody and there are plenty of times that I've received off-menu items, extra courses, etc by being engaged with a meal and making it absolutely clear that I appreciate what a restaurant is trying to do.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #385 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:20 pm
    Post #385 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:20 pm Post #385 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:20 pm
    I think it's pretty impressive that L20 served three different tasting menus on the fly. When Tony, Eric, and I ate there we only got the same food.
  • Post #386 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:22 pm
    Post #386 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:22 pm Post #386 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:22 pm
    Louisa Chu wrote:I think it's pretty impressive that L20 served three different tasting menus on the fly. When Tony, Eric, and I ate there we only got the same food.

    BTW - Louisa did not name drop, I will do it for her: she was with Tony Bourdain.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #387 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:23 pm
    Post #387 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:23 pm Post #387 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:23 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Louisa Chu wrote:I think it's pretty impressive that L20 served three different tasting menus on the fly. When Tony, Eric, and I ate there we only got the same food.

    BTW - Louisa did not name drop, I will do it for her: she was with Tony Bourdain.


    and Eric Ripert, or e-dawg to Mr. Plotnicki.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #388 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:34 pm
    Post #388 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:34 pm Post #388 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:34 pm
    When I took Tony to Lunch at Txikto, they made us a special menu. That's because I name dropped and told them I was bringing him to lunch with me.
  • Post #389 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:43 pm
    Post #389 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:43 pm Post #389 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:43 pm
    jimswside wrote:
    Khaopaat wrote:I feel like I'm at an advantage in this conversation, because until yesterday, I had no idea who any of you people were...



    other than GAF who I had the pleasure of meeting @ the burrito crawl, I have zero idea who any of the other people are.


    Nor have I had the good fortune to meet most of you guys. Therefore, I propose a dinner for any interested LTH member at L2o in the next two months, organized at a date of generally mutual agreement. The ground rules:

    1) We order the tasting menu.

    2) Everyone shares the expenses: We divide the bill by the number of participants.

    3) We ask the sommelier if she can do wine pairings; if they do not do this, we will agree upon a maximum budget for wine and ask Chantelle to select the wines.

    4) The restaurant will know we are coming.

    5) Anyone is free to write about the experience on LTH or elsewhere.

    Who's in? Feel free to PM me if you wish.

    I look forward to meeting my fellow foodies. (For those not wishing to participate in this venue, I look forward to meeting you soon at a different venue).

    (I also posted this in the Events section)
  • Post #390 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:56 pm
    Post #390 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:56 pm Post #390 - September 3rd, 2009, 3:56 pm
    This post is the crux of the argument:

    [It's so interesting for me to hear this perspective. I sometimes wonder if Steve is for-real or if this is just an online persona of some kind. Amazingly, it seems nuts to me to call a restaurant to tell them in advance that I "really appreciate cuisine." This is self-evident if I am there and willing to spend my money. The calling in seems to have ulterior motives, which have been pointed out and accepted.

    It assumes that all diners are the same, and all diners are as knowledgable as other diners and that's just not true. That's what is really bothering people here IMO. They are upset that people with more knowledge can get a better meal than they get. What flows from that are a whole host of class resentment arguments that have nothing to do with dining or food.

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