I don't know about other folks, but I loved seeing Frank Bruni's review of Szechuan Gourmet in the New York Times. It's a restaurant that very much deserves two stars in my eyes. Szechuan Gourmet has been the object of our affection for awhile here at SE:NY, so I wanted to find out why Bruni decided to review it now.
Here's the text of my email to Frank:
What made you decide to review Szechuan Gourmet now? I've always found it curious that the Times never reviewed it, given A) how good it is and B) how close it is to the newspaper's building. As you may or may not know it's been a favorite of bloggers for years. I'm writing a blog post about your review and found myself wondering about the above.
His swift and straightforward response, after the jump:
Szechuan Gourmet: simple answer. As sometimes happens, there was a month recently in which three different trusted friends and scouts SEPARATELY emailed me and said, Wow, I just had an amazing meal at Szechuan Gourmet. And it rang bells. And I went, and loved it, and then began doing more research—and of course ran across your posts at that point, which I hadn't seen. So: Word-of-mouth tugged me there, and between-visits research supplemented my knowledge of the place and suggested my experience wasn't a fluke. Additional visits (I made the usual string of them) verified that my first visit wasn't. That's how it went and how it goes.
Bruni raved about the crisp lamb with cumin, and, boy, is he ever right. I had it on my last visit, and it's now on my short list of great Chinese dishes in New York.