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I’m Mad as Hell …

network166.jpgDamn — this could set a dangerous precedent. The owners of a Florida restaurant are bringing a lawsuit against the local paper for writing a negative review. The suit was filed last year, and a judge has just decided to allow it to go forward, finding merit in the allegations. The owners of the restaurant, Delmonico Grill, claim that the reviewer, Patricia Smith, presented her opinion as fact (ah — yeah, that’s what reviewers do).

Allegedly, Smith mischaracterized the interior of the restaurant, saying that it has “dimmed lights,” a “dark décor,” and “the chill of arctic air.” The restaurant owners took issue with that, suggesting that Smith insinuated that the restaurant sounded like “a cave.” Smith also wrote that one dish was previously prepared and not heated properly, though the owners claimed that the food was bought only two hours earlier and that “everything is prepared fresh.”

The owners further claim that the review wasn’t like any of the other, positive reviews of the restaurant and claim that Smith’s ed to a dramatic decrease in business, so much so that the owners now have to wait their own tables because they can’t afford a waitstaff.

Oh you poor bastards — you gotta wait your own tables.

Piss off. This lawsuit is pure bunk — unbelievable. You can’t sue a reviewer just because her review differed from everyone else’s. A bunch of idiots gave glowing reviews to The English Patient; that didn’t make it any damn good. I once suggested that the cast of the Jackass films were living out their homoerotic fantasies and I even went so far as to present that as fact. Can I expect the studio to sue me anytime soon?

This is ridiculous — reviewers are tasked with using their critical faculties. If a dish tasted like it was previously prepared and not heated properly, i.e., like shit, then it’s a reviewer’s God-given right, ne responsibility, to say as much. In fact, the very point of a review is to steer customers away from bad restaurants, necessarily decreasing business. If you want a better goddamn review, then make a better goddamn stuffed bell pepper. It’s not freakin’ rocket science, here.

Of course, the absurdity of this lawsuit is compounded by the fact that two similar lawsuits have been filed, one in Pennsylvania (still undecided) and another in Dallas that was dropped after the newspaper agreed to run a second review, which is just critical blasphemy, if you ask me.

| Comments (3)


I could understand if the review said the restaurant served kittens or human flesh but not because she said they serve crap food. Gah! What about freedom of the press?

In Soviet Russia, restaurant reviewed you!

I'd like to know what merits the judge thought this has. It just sounds so absurd.