After the Dallas Observer's Scott "Hipster Dreamboat" Reitz reviewed Francesco Farris' pricey Zio Cecio, we were waiting for the next critic. Enter Leslie Brenner. They're in sync like that, you know.
We've always wondered just how quickly restaurants made adjustments (if, indeed, they make adjustments) following the publication of a review. Whether it's a criticism or a mere suggestion, the unsolicited help of a pro palate could be a game changer.
And in the case of Farris' carbonara sauce, game was definitely changed.
From ScReitz's December 29 (online as of December 28) review:
"While the pancetta in the spaghetti carbonara could have been crispier (or better yet, replaced with guanciale), the sauce was light and the cheese and egg yolk were understated."
From Brenner's review this week:
"Which is a long-winded way of saying that although I loved Farris’ carbonara sauce — a classic eggy, cheesy version with the slight variation of guanciale (cured pork jowl) used in place of pancetta — a good dried spaghetti, one that gets some nice texture from being cut using traditional bronze dies, would suit it better."She loved that sauce. Loved it with its guanciale instead of pancetta. Loved. it.
Looks like while ScReitz got two salt-crusted expensafish instead of one whopper, Brenner points out smaller ones are often available for singles. ScReitz reaped wood-burning benefits and Brenner got pig. Both got soft-serve-ish gelato. Perhaps the two are even in one-ups, but it looks like it's Farris who really wins, based on the public proclamation of love for a sauce.
Now, assuming that Brenner visited at least once after Reitz's review, or at the very least, after Reitz's fact-checking phoner, we're assuming a modest guanciale-themed thank you card will be arriving in the Observer offices any day now.
Update: Leslie Brenner has responded to our post explaining Dallas Morning News editorial review schedule -- which is actually similar to that of the Dallas Observer (this here writer filed several reviews for the DO in the past). What Brenner also does -- and we send her a cyber high-five for this -- is notes that this post was, indeed, a fun one.
We don't really expect Farris to send ScReitz a thank you, nor do we expect that critics will never review the same restaurants in relatively close timespans -- we just find the related ideas and the maybes really, really interesting. And sometimes humorous. OK, often humorous.
Now, Brenner also mentions that during her fact-check, Farris made no mention of ever using pancetta for guanciale, but acknowledges that doesn't mean he never has. After all, Farris did substitute fish during the DO visit. Oh, Hipster Dreamboat, when will you weigh in?!
Zio Cecio [Photo: Kelsey Foster/EDFW]