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Nov 26, 2010 08:40 AM

Food Bloggers and Paris Restaurants [split from France]

(Note: this thread was split from the France board at: -- The Chowhound Team )

I don't understand how bloggers have destroyed La Régalade SH. Is one to suppose that the OP's urge of boycott would in the contrary preserve it?

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  1. I think the OP lost sight of his premise, that La Régalade SH had superior food and service when it opened and has gone down hill since bloggers praised it so highly. I seriously doubt this is the case. The only thing that bloggers have done is make a table more difficult to get.

    His analysis of current LRSH may or may not concur with recent diners' experiences.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      No, my premise is that they all flock to the new places and write rave reviews of them (as long as they're inexpensive, that is) until it becomes impossible to tell what is good and what is, well, just inexpensive. If you believe the food bloggers (and lefooding for that matter), Frenchie is the best and most important restaurant in Paris. Sorry, that was a few months ago, now mini palais is the best and most important :)

      1. re: QdeBro

        The desire to be the first to review a place, or to discover it before everyone else does, is a calamity which has been brought on by blogging and has spread to most of the food media, from the paper press to food institutions.

        Previously, critics would visit restaurants at a leisurely pace, leaving them some time to reach their "vitesse de croisière". Now even some professional journalists rush to new addresses much too fast, knowing full well that they'll be all over the blogosphere in no time, and thus no longer really doing their job as journalists.
        And finally we got to the surrealistic extent of having Le Fooding 1) create an award category for the décor just to include one unopened restaurant they knew would be trendy, and 2) give the award even before the construction work was finished. Perhaps a return to sanity is required.

        Another extreme was reached when one journalist reviewed a newborn restaurant in my neighborhood, Desvouges on rue des Fossés-Saint-Marcel, and described it as good. I went there shortly after (not knowing about the review) and the food was so dreadfully bad that I was sure the place couldn't possibly get a good review. But the guy had been there first, and the world had to know about it, so...

        I wish more people were aware that the point is to report honestly on the food, nothing less nothing more, and that nobody cares about who was there first and how soon after opening.

        1. re: Ptipois

          "The desire to be the first to review a place, or to discover it before everyone else does, is a calamity which has been brought on by blogging and has spread to most of the food media, from the paper press to food institutions."

          Very good point: In Paris, the food chainms see to go "a)normal people who enjoy their food, b) obsessives and geeks who exchange their info on boards like this one, c)bloggers and d) mainstream journalists.

          There's nothing wrong with this hierachy, per se, except this urge to be the first to comment upon a place, and the habit of many bloggers and journaists who omit to credit their sources "I just happened stumble upon this charming little place".

    2. Although the OP points to a problem, he or she does not suggest a solution for those of us who are not lucky enough to live in Paris or have the means to go regularly. What are those of us who go once every couple of years supposed to do? Consult only mainstream publications, who usually (but not always) visit a restaurant several times before writing a review? Bloggers are soldiers on the ground, who are generous enough to take their time to report their experiences to the rest of us. While I rarely rely exclusively on one blogger, when a consensus of bloggers really like a place, I give it serious consideration for a coveted slot of my list of places to eat when in Paris. I genuinely want to know what sources the OP consults when he/she
      is about to visit a new destination known for its food where he/she has no friends or family who can give trusted recommendations.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Ingrid Ingrid

        I was sitting outside Ble Sucre the other day, eating an excellent croissant (I'm not going to get into which one is the best in town. Theirs is very good early in the day), drinking their miserable excuse of a coffee, and giving crumbs to the sparrows. It occurred to me that relying on bloggers in their current form produces a similar bias to what the sparrows suffer from - although the ground is strewn with perfectly good crumbs, the birds always go for the one I just dropped.

        Anyway, I come here often enough that I have a large enough base of repeat visits that I'm certain of, a smaller base of places that have always been around but I never got to, and new places. The old standbys occasionally disappoint, or just cross a threshold of nastiness/touristic state of mind (e.g. Chez Michel) and their chauvinism makes them assume if you're not local they should treat you like a one-off customer but usually they're predictable. For the new places I try to read carefully and prefer the opinions of bloggers who write more sensibly (e.g. Barbara Austin, or B. Verjus, or Luxeat when she's in town) even though they may not always be focused on the newest place in town.

        There are also some learning experiences - I thought le fooding was a legitimate guide until I ate in some of their "trop bon" recommendations... who knows what drives them to make some of the recommendations they make, or to avoid recommending some of the obviously superior tables.

        I use similar methods in other destinations. It's not always easy (e.g. Tokyo before the Michelin guide was very hard) but usually you end up with a solid list if you do your homework.

        1. re: QdeBro

          I noticed you also asked for recommendations on Chowhound, a site much frequented and enriched by bloggers (which would make you one of your pigeons asking for crumbs).

          1. re: Parigi

            While I appreciate their input, a blogger on these boards isn't a blogger. He, or she is a chowhounder.

            Bloggers have not "ruined the Paris restaurant scene". The OP, and a tizzy fit from an aggrieved blogger - since airbrushed away by the moderator's invisible hand - are excessive, yet I think that a valid point has been made here, especially by Ptipois.

            The "expat" blogs I enjoy in Paris, like the "native" ones, are those that have an individual voice, and not those that are part and parcel of the media babble and its endless search for novelty, "tendances", and sensation.

            1. re: vielleanglaise

              Folks, the issue of the effect bloggers have on restaurants really isn't on topic for a regional board. We'd ask that people focus on the food at La Regalade, and if you want to continue the conversation about bloggers, start a new thread on the Food Media board. Thanks!

              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                The discussion was specifically of the blogger community in Paris, and the assertion made was that their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt - this is certainly a "Tip for Dining, Eating, and Food Shopping in France (including Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Marseilles)"

                Your continued effort at preventing serious debate are admirable though.

                1. re: QdeBro

                  Wow. A troll. We get so few of them around here.