Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Oct 21, 2008 10:09 AM

Craig LaBan's Da Vinci review...ouch!

Did anyone read his review from Sunday? Talk about a sharp turn. What did you think of the Tale of the Rinsed Chop?

(if you haven't read it...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What was that chef thinking? I bet that today he is thinking that he sould have lost the $20.00 cost of a replacement veal chop! I would further bet that he will not be spending much time in the dining room in the near future. LaBan summed it up when he said that the chef was on cruise control. That's when accidents happen in restaurants.

    1. I was shocked when I read that review. The fact that not only the waitress would serve the dish, but also that the chef would explain himself saying that he washed the meat off and then grilled it again. Almost having no concern that it was not due to taste, but due to a food allergy.

      1. Guess that answers the question of whether everyone in the restaurant biz knows what LaBan looks like!

        9 Replies
        1. re: Bigley9

          My question is why did LeBan take a dining companion with that serious medical condition with him to review a restaurant. Frankly, while it told us something about hte service in the restaurant, I personally believed it got in the way of him being able to objectively rate the food. I found the review to be useless.

          1. re: cwdonald

            And why did she ask for the sauce on the side?
            Was she planning on dipping the meat in the sauce just to see if it made her violently ill?

            Of course this doesn't excuse what the chef did.

            1. re: cwdonald

              Is it even possible to be allergic to sugar? It's the body's energy source, everyone eats it every day. It would be like being allergic to water. I guess it doesn't matter in this case, the restaurant's response is the thing we're concerned with. I don't know if their behavior warrants a one-bell review, but we have no way of knowing what it would have been otherwise. Even if you take the rinsed pork chop away it reads like it could be a one-bell review.

              1. re: Buckethead

                Glucose is the body's energy source. It is possible to be allergic--maybe 'intolerant' is a better term--to different types of sugars. Lactose intolerance is common. Fructose intolerance (e.g. HFI, hereditary fructose intolerance) also exists but is much rarer.

                1. re: Dib

                  Apparently there is such a thing as sucrose intolerance which can cause severe diarrhea & gas

              2. re: cwdonald

                There are millions of people with food allergies.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  There are millions of people with food allergies. Should they stay at home? A good chef should be able to handle a simple request like sauce on the side. Actually a good chef would have offered to whip something up without sugar. A for her request for it on the side I suspect that Mr. LaBan wanted to taste it for the review.

                  My husband has a gluten allergy. Now that is really a challenge but any competent chef can handle his allergy. I think it is completely appropriate to take a companion with a food allergy and we appreciate being able to cross this dump off of our list. Note that they went on a slow night which is the best time to go with a food allergy.

                2. re: Bigley9

                  Actually, LaBan's review for Parc this week states that he was recognized during at least two of his review meals there, so some in the biz definitely know what he looks like. I once heard a story from a chef in another restaurant that his picture is posted in all of the STARR organization establishments.

                  1. re: pazos

                    That's 100% true, although Craig says it's an old photo. But Starr stays on top of things like that.

                    I was wondering if the owner was writing a letter in response to the review. It definitely seems like one of things where someone would feel the need to explain himself.

                3. That certainly was an ouch!! But it sounds as if there were numerous missteps here. Rinsing the chop?? Are you kidding me? And the behavior of the waitress would have put me over the top. Absolutely not a place I want to waste my money on, that's for sure.
                  I'll admit I have never heard of anyone allergic to sugar, however. Sugar is in so many foods we eat, how can you avoid it totally? Maybe this person was diabetic? At any rate, what if you were someone who just hated sweet items or just wanted plain meat? What if you were allergic to figs and didn't want the sauce at all? I think the point was that they could not handle this simple request and botched the way they handled it from start to finish.

                  1. So, has anyone returned to Da Vinci since the infamous chop-washing episode? How are they doing now, or has it gone down the drain....?