Negative Report on Christopher's
I just read a report on on Christopher's in Stephen Lemons' blog Feathered Bastard:
Seems the health dept. shut it down for a day.
FYI, Lemons used to be food critic for the Phoenix New Times. Now he's their gossip columnist.
I've only eaten at Christopher's once. Seemed OK, but didn't blow me away.
Consider the source of this information. Lemons' writing is generally not respected on this board. Yes, a quick visit to the Maricopa County Environmental Services Web site confirms this incident, but it needs to be taken in the context of a steady string of gold and silver awards over many years.
Lemons loves to slaughter sacred cows, and it is therefore unsurprising that he would present this one incident, no matter how unfortunate, out of context.
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
I remember that review. I somewhat agreed with the basic conclusion that Gross may be resting on his laurels, but, as usual, the writer's bombastic prose made it sound like the restaurant is absolutely awful, which I don't think is true. This recent inspection aside, I tend to think that a full multi-course dinner at Fermier may not always be exciting enough to warrant the price tag, but Fermier's more modestly priced winebar menu has long been a favorite for good late night meals.
I love critics who take into account personal bias when they write reports. It takes me back to his review of My Florist Cafe last year. That was a fun read.
Though I've not dined there in some time, I have always had very good meals with matching service. Was any the best that I had ever eaten? Nah, probably not, but good and a good value.
Only problem that I ever had was a wine selection, earlier on. I had chosen a Northern Rhône Syrah and they were out of it. Paola offered a substitute. The wine that I had chosen was ~US$125/btl. and we were having three. The substituted wine (not on their list) turned out to be ~US$350! OK, I guess that I should have asked, but with board members in the group, I didn't, and assumed (obviously, incorrectly), that the substitute would be similar in price, and would have hoped that the server, or Paola would have mentioned the vast difference. Live n' learn. Only complaint that I have ever had with Christopher's.
Stephen Lemons thinks Christopher's is overrated, and doesn't pretend to be unbiased. I've had some great food at Christopher's, but their inconsistency makes it easy for me to eat elsewhere.