Chatto seems to like Cluck, Grunt, and Low
- icey Aug 7, 2007 11:43 AM
Just read James Chatto's weekly blog, and he seems to give C, G & L, a pretty good review, calling it the "best bbq in town". Now, I can't really comment myself, as I haven't been, but according to the review of C, G, & L on Chowhound, is Chatto eating at a different restaurant? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
But that review seemed kind of silly to me... o_o I didn't get much from it...
He spends a 1/3 of it on the actual restaurant and the rest on random ramblings.
Then, of that 1/3 spent on the restaurant, he spends one sentence on the meat and the rest on decor and dessert. Am I missing the rest of the review or something...?
Is Chatto the review in Eye?...that one is over the top on decor (which is totally pre-fab-its a tad unrealistic to go on about the authenticity of a cowboy rustic look for a place that was a retail store 3 months ago!)
I am not sure why otherwise decent food critics are so keen on this place that they have seemingly NOT noticed they do not smoke the beef/lamb/chicken on site. I know this because I live next door and I am convinced they don't even have real oven, as opposed to microwave judging by the total lack of cooking smells at any time other than serving time.
Chatto writes for Toronto Life.
The decor is hand-crafted.
The location has been occupied by restaurants for many years. No retail in recent memory. Construction took six months. There was no business there three months ago.
Both James Chatto (Toronto Life) and Amy Pataki (Toronto Star) specifically mention that much of the cooking is done offsite.
It is easy self-education to verify that there are "real" ovens there by looking through the window into the kitchen.
I've read many negative comments about the meat not being smoked on site. If the food is good then who cares? Have you seen the size of some of these smokers? What about the smoke and smells? If I lived nearby I wouldn't appreciate the cooking smells 24 hours a day (and proper smoking requires many many hours). And if I owned the place I would have to think about paying $100 a square foot for prime retails space to house the smokers. Like I said, I only care about what's on my plate.
Seems like a fairly tepid review to me. The sort of thing you'd write if you liked the person in question or simply needed to fill some inches in your article.
If Boehmer has moved on after such a short time I'm going to do the same. Sounds like a sign that things just weren't working. Perhaps he can finally turn Six Steps into a place worth going to.
Chummy is fine. Jacob Richler gets right into the kitchen with some of his chef buddies, but I don't think he or Chatto or any food writer worth his salt would last very long if the public thought their reviews were tainted by favouritism. I think they speak volumes by what they don't review. They don't HAVE to review every place, and I've seen situations where someone who is "chummy" with a food writer opened a place that sucked. The reviewer only mentioned that it was open, but didn't do a review. Add to that places that don't get any review and I think that speaks for itself. Besides, I would rather read reviews of places I might like to go, not places to stay away from.
I'd take Chatto with a grain of salt, as he seems too chummy with local businesses to be objective.
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