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Mar 10, 2011 10:16 AM

L’Ami Louis -- Vanity Fair article by A.A. Gill


I know there have been many threads and comments about the controversial L’Ami Louis. We've considered it a few times, and yet still have not been. But check out this recent lively blast by A.A. Gill:

  1. One can criticize that Ami for many things, but the article is too obviously a hatchet job.
    The way the author complains about the size of the escargots ! If the escargots had been smaller, the author would have complained they were small. If they had been medium, the complaint would have been "too medium".
    And the cheap prejudiced comments about the French, the Americans, everyone. Very tiresome hissy fit.
    I noticed that sports journalists have run out of dithyrambic adjectives to describe FC Barcelona. This author is doing the oppositive, taking all the pejorative adjectives in his vocab for a walk.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      That's quintessential Gill. A friend of mine would say, "Potty mouth". I would suggest, "Pot boiler".

      1. re: Parigi

        And besides, a snail you can stick up your nose is called a bigorneau.

        Gill's diptych secret is that
        1) he hates food with a passion and does a good job of expressing that (nine times out of ten he compares it with the product of an excretory organ, which one is not important, you've got all of them in any one of his articles),
        2) it's all about his ego, never about the food (we've got one like that in France, but without the scatophilia).
        Very tiresome indeed. Systematically witty and smart-assy restaurant reviewing is so cheap and useless that I wonder why there are still some critics who don't realize it. Do they ever re-read themselves?

      2. Current posting on same topic on the Food Site board. Thus far, l was the only defender of L'Ami Louis

        7 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Just read your post on the other site. Thank Goodness! I thought you were saying that you had defended Gill!

            1. re: mangeur

              Could you kind souls give me a link? Merci.

              1. re: mangeur

                "Pot boiler," to be sure; and as Parigi says, it seems quite "off" to complain that the escargot were too big. But I did like the line: "Twenty minutes later, possibly under their own steam, the snails arrive" -- and I also suspect that behind the blast and bluster, there's a valid point or two being made . . . . That said, I'm still up for sharing the cote someday with DCM.

                1. re: Jake Dear

                  I had the same feeling, Jake. It couldn't possibly be as awful as Gill describes, or it would no longer be there. But some Americans-in-Paris on Facebook seemed to be quite agreeing with much of it.

                  I'd still like to see for myself.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    On the other hand, mangeur's comment that this is "quintessential Gill," and the general mean-spiritedness of the piece (even though clever) did bother me. And now that I've looked more into Gill (and read the Wikipedia profile on him), I'm thinking that this really is a "hatchet job" as parigi says, and I'm a bit chagrined about further publicizing it. And so like ChefJune, I'll see for myself.

            2. Discussion of reviews belongs on our Food Media and News board. Since there is already a thread on this topic there we're going to lock this one. You can find the ongoing discussion at