The Leslie Brenner/Proof + Pantry feud has been on the tip of every local food blogger's tongue lately, and for good reason: The very public battle has been the most controversial thing to hit the Dallas dining scene since... well, since John Tesar famously picked a fight with the critic on Twitter just a few months ago.
For the uninitiated and/or those who have been living under a rock these past few weeks, Brenner was on a review meal at the One Arts Plaza restaurant when she was recognized by co-owner Michael Martensen, who attempted to comp the entire meal in an effort to thwart a potential Dallas Morning News review. Brenner left cash on the table when the restaurant wouldn't run her card, but Martensen and partner Sal Jafar II personally visited the newspaper the next morning to return said cash. Their effort was unsuccessful, says Brenner, though Martensen and Jafar reportedly donated the entire amount to the Dallas Morning News Charities Fund.
Now, the newly unanonymous Brenner confirms over on Eats Blog — because she knows "you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat wondering" — that she will indeed be forging ahead with her review of Proof + Pantry, which will be published next week. Despite being very much on the restaurant's radar, Brenner somehow managed to sneak back in for another meal in order to satisfy the two visits necessary for a review: "Mission accomplished," she proclaims. Martensen and Jafar seemed none too eager to serve Brenner again, so that raises the question: Did the now-unanonymous critic somehow disguise herself? It seems unlikely that, given her facetime with the restaurateurs, she'd be able to slip in unnoticed. Brenner declined to comment on that, though she would say that her methods will be made clear in next week's review.
At any rate, it will certainly be interesting to read Brenner's official thoughts on P+P. Is it possible for a critic to remain "unbiased" when reviewing a restaurant that's leading a campaign against her and was, in all likelihood, largely responsible for pushing her out of the shadows? We've also reached out to Michael Martensen for comment; stay tuned.