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December 11, 2014

It's on the house

So much for the old adage, "Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel."

From Dallas's top kitchens, reviewer Leslie Brenner is feeling the heat

DALLAS — Leslie Brenner's money is no good at Proof + Pantry. Or at Lark on the Park, Spoon, Meddlesome Moth and a number of other restaurants here. These free meals are not intended as bribes to influence the Dallas Morning News restaurant critic into writing a positive review.

No, they're intended to prevent a review altogether.

In early November, after a town-hall-style meeting, at least 10 Dallas-area restaurants agreed to adopt a practice first employed in October at Proof + Pantry, where the owners refused to present Brenner with a bill, setting off a widely publicized standoff over who would eventually pocket the $500 that the critic left in cash to cover the check. (Short answer: charity.) The policy is designed to generate either an ethical conflict for the critic, who cannot accept freebies, or an embarrassing public scene, which would cast doubt on the critic's ability to write a fair review.

Posted by joke du jour at December 11, 2014 06:02 PM

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