Bauer's "stars" vs review of SF's Absinthe
Am I alone in finding odd the inconsistency between the 2 1/2 stars for food and the number of disappointments detailed in Wednesday's review?
I didn't read the review that carefully, but in contrast, in another review this week, of Bar Bambino, he raved about the food and also gave it two and a half stars.
Michael Bauer consistenly embarasses his readers and the SF chronicle in general with his elementary narrative, vague adjectives and conflicting ratings. Even after having worked in the restaurant industry in San Francisco for only a few months, I realized how his opinons are highly disregarded and mostly ignored by people that take food seriously.
I wish my experience agreed with your comments. Just one example: Bauer made fun of Jack Falstaff for labeling various items "organic" or "whole grain," and the very next time I went, all such references had disappeared; I attribute the continued absence of such information on most menus to his scorn.
Whatever serious food folks may or may not think of him, most readers and potential customers do not fall under that rubric, and restaurateurs, IMO, appear terrified of the power they believe his reviews wield over their bottom lines.
While on this topic, am I alone in damn near yelling out loud when reading his reviews, "This isn't an interior decorating column, when are you going to get to the food?"
I just had a chance to read the review, and I agree with you. He noted what I'd consider serious problems with each of the protein portions of each main course he wrote about. It doesn't seem to me that if a restaurant is consistently turning out main courses with problems that it would rate 2 1/2 stars. I took from the review that going to Absinthe for drinks, oysters, fries and dessert would be a good idea (and I knew that before the review).