A friend of mine in Washington D.C. sent me a link to this story from the Washington City Paper. An anonymous person compiled a handbook with photos and personal details about the dining critics in D.C. and distributed it to restaurants all over the city. It’s smart and well done. Talk about uniting the restaurant community! This handy guide covers “writers’ personalities, likes, dislikes, and even rating their food knowledge and writing ability. It also suggests what kind of server should wait on them.” Here’s a sneak peek at Tom Sietsema’s profile:
Tom Sietsema is probably the most notable food critic in DC. He is the ultimate consumer advocate and has an adroit writing style that can be very critical and often ventures into the territory of cruel. He tends to be fair, but can be emphatic when on either extreme of the rating scale. He tends to get wrapped up in his conversations with dining companions and is very nice but gives little away about his feelings on the dining experience so it’s important not to try to read too much into his body language.
Position: Food Critic for the Washington Post
Writing level: Advanced
Food & Beverage Knowledge: Advanced
Likes: Manhattans, sweetbreads, tablecloths, bread service, nice wait staff
Dislikes: Loud dining rooms, sweet cocktails, over-pouring wine, overbearing staff
Seat With: Most professional, experienced server with engaging but hands off style
Somebody in Dallas should follow this lead.