The nation's first food blogger-turned-restaurant critic, Danyelle Freeman, comes out swinging in her debut column in the New York Daily News. Freeman, who wants to be our "restaurant concierge," clearly wants to be taken seriously as an arbiter of taste. Her review of the hipster Italian hotspot Gemma is certainly not laudatory. In fact, it's more than a little critical. However, her penchant for overblown prose managed to survive the best efforts of the editors at the paper: "Equally, a sheath of black-truffle pâté and lemon arouses amply fresh sea scallops."
What does an aroused fresh sea scallop look like?
All kidding aside, Freeman did convey enough information to let me know that I would probably not enjoy Gemma. She is no better or no worse than many other restaurant critics all around the country. Clearly, from looking at the photos in the paper and elsewhere, Freeman aspires to be the Carrie Bradshaw of the food world. But Carrie Bradshaw's columns on Sex and the City were well-written. Sara Jessica Parker's Bradshaw was much more than a pretty face. To be taken seriously as a restaurant critic, Freeman needs to be as well. Anonymity is not the issue here (although Gael Greene, writing on her blog, rightfully takes Freeman to task on the issue). Writing well and authoritatively are.