I hate it when that happens....

Dateline: Fri 01 Sep 2006

We dealt with Daylight Savings Time. A lot of people think we're cool. People do move here from Chicago frequently.

So why is a snotty little NYC blog called GAWKER making fun of Indianapolis for a review of the 5-star Conrad Hotel's Restaurant du Soleil? The review, by Star staff writer Donna Hale, ran in the paper's GO! section Aug. 4.

GAWKER, fyi, bills itself as "daily Manhattan media news and gossip. Reporting live from the center of the universe".

GAWKER's thing is to scour the earth from its grubby little New York perch for bland or bloated writing and then award its "great moments in journalism."

We try to keep a low profile in these instances, but nonetheless, GAWKER uncovered what Hale had written, and a friend turned me on to GAWKER's Aug. 29 post:

(See link)


Or just read it right here:

"Today's bit (great moments in journalism) comes from the world of restaurant criticism, which, if Frank Bruni alone is any guide, should be providing us with much more material. This one is of somewhat more ancient vintage than we'd prefer (i.e., beginning of August) but it's too good not to share. In any event, Donna Hale of the Indianapolis Star visits Restaurant du Soleil at the Conrad Hotel. How was it?"

Here GAWKER quotes direct from Ms. Hale, whose review ran under the unfortunate headline: "French taste: Ooh la la."

"The menu is limited, which I think is always a good sign," begins Ms. Hale. "Too many restaurants offer too many items, and that sometimes means a sacrifice of quality for quantity.

"The menu has many words in French, my undergraduate minor," Hale continued. "But it's been a while, so I asked a waitress for a few interpretations. It's lucky I did. Otherwise I might have accidentally ordered goose liver pate as an appetizer."

Oops. How awful would that have been?

OK, it's bad, but is it that bad? Perhaps, yes, it is -- given that there are some wonderful food writers in this community and a growing appreciation of the restaurant scene. Just this week, the Indianapolis Business Journal has a story about the city's growing culinary arts schools -- that would be the new Chef's Academy that will open Downtown this month, as well as the highly-touted Ivy Tech Community College's expanding culinary arts program, all part of our food-scene boom.

Anyhow, GAWKER just can't leave it alone. The last crack, gleaned from reading another GO! story in the Star, is straight to the heart:

"Were you aware that Indiana had a Fringe Festival? Jesus Christ, even the Midwest is as fucking lame as New York now."

Well, maybe. But we DO have DST. Take that, "West Wing."

Contact me at ruth@ruthhollady.com


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