10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC

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leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 08:41:21 (permalink)
You're right! But as I've said above..it's skill,ingredients,equipment and love...perhaps we should add.. desire!
#31
mousec
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 08:47:44 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

I have heard Lombardi's is overrated, too. (Travling Man)

Don't you think Mario's Public Relations Team had something to do with his new place making that list?
Have you read Jonathan Gold's review of the place? If not do yourself a favor and search for the review before you make idiotic comments.
#32
leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 09:58:40 (permalink)
Mario's knows his stuff...and most people love the stuff Mario knows!
#33
David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 13:49:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by mousec

quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

I have heard Lombardi's is overrated, too. (Travling Man)

Don't you think Mario's Public Relations Team had something to do with his new place making that list?
Have you read Jonathan Gold's review of the place? If not do yourself a favor and search for the review before you make idiotic comments.

The article was not prepared by msnbc; it is credited to Forbes Traveler:
http://www.forbestraveler.com/food-drink/americas-best-pizzerias-story.html

Here is what author Don Burnham had to write about Mozza in Los Angeles:
"Celebrity chef Mario Batali partnered last year with super-baker Nancy Silverton to open Mozza, which the L.A. Times says is the "hardest reservation in town to get right now."

The accompanying slide show has a caption that reads:
"Television chef Mario Batali has teamed up with one of America's greatest bakers, Nancy Silverton, to open this very hot new pizzeria whose pizza bianca Food & Wine Magazine listed as one of the best dishes of 2007. For more information: Mozza; 323-297-0101"

Nowhere in that article does it say that Mr. Burnham actually ate in any of these pizza restaurants. Nor does it explain the methodology used to choose these 10 restaurants. It does, however, quote statements published in other magazines about the restaurants listed. So, we have to dig back deeper. Did Mr. Burnham use any other sources of information? If not, how did the source of the quote decide to list the place as a winner?

People around here have little tolerance for puff pieces. We also know that all these celebrity chefs as well as media personalities like Martha Stewart have a huge, hidden "machine" behind them to run all of their various enterprises.

No where does it give the exact involvment of Mr. Batali in the pizza restaurants in LA (Mozza) or NYC (Otto). There are other people listed as working for these enterprises as well. Questioning if any public relations people work for these enterprises is not idiotic.
#34
Logan2
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 14:01:50 (permalink)
Reality Check: Most knowledgeable people would agree, I think, that the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant, or anything else with this money $$$ making venture. Most (maybe generally all) celebrities have nothing to do with the enterprise of which their name is associated.
#35
jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 16:40:24 (permalink)
I have always felt that "Mario" is the most irritating of all who's ever been on T.V. cooking shows. I think he flat out sucks.
#36
porkbeaks
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 17:09:18 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

I have always felt that "Mario" is the most irritating of all who's ever been on T.V. cooking shows. I think he flat out sucks.


Kind of the gymsocks of the Food Network, huh? pb
#37
jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 17:17:11 (permalink)
No, more like the porkgeek.
#38
Russ Jackson
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 17:28:43 (permalink)
Mario bugs me a little but the guy can cook. One of the few left on the channel that can...Russ
#39
jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 17:33:02 (permalink)
That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.
#40
mousec
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 21:56:08 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.
How do "regular guys" act???
#41
Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 22:21:45 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Logan2

Reality Check: Most knowledgeable people would agree, I think, that the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant, or anything else with this money $$$ making venture. Most (maybe generally all) celebrities have nothing to do with the enterprise of which their name is associated.


Reality check right back at you: I happen to know for a fact that you're completely wrong regarding Mario Batali's involvement in his restaurants, so I can't help but wonder what you based this comment on? Do "most knowledgeable" people really make generalizations with no basis in fact? They wouldn't be very knowledgeable if they did, would they?
#42
David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/09 23:09:33 (permalink)
Folks, I think we should understand the difference between CELEBRITY restaurants and CELEBRITY CHEF restaurants. We have seen restaurants with the names of movie stars, disk jockeys, professional athlethes, country music singers and the like. Then we hear about restaurants that are wholly or partly owned by famous chefs. Usually, the chef is associated with more than one restaurant. Celebrity chefs usually have demonstrable culinary skills. Celebrities who are primarily noted for success in fields other than cooking or baking may or may not have culinary skills.
#43
leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 05:24:30 (permalink)
Also yes,Common sense folks...Mario makes his living on his reputation for creating great food...would he stake that reputation,in any way,on a bad restaurant. I'm sure he wants the food served in his place,to be worthy of his name!!!!!!
#44
Logan2
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 08:34:52 (permalink)
I was going to say that those who think that there is that much of a difference in their relationship to their "related restaurants" between ordinary celebrities and chef celebrities are borderline delusional. But Pigiron's glib tongue and superior logic and knowledge have convinced me that Saint Mario is different and that his corporation's management stands aside and lets St. Mario make all the significant decisions of the enterprise with which he is associated (along with angels who descend from heaven). All rise for St. Mario!
#45
Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 11:41:27 (permalink)
quote:
Serious backpedaling originally posted by Logan2

I was going to say that those who think that there is that much of a difference in their relationship to their "related restaurants" between ordinary celebrities and chef celebrities are borderline delusional. But Pigiron's glib tongue and superior logic and knowledge have convinced me that Saint Mario is different and that his corporation's management stands aside and lets St. Mario make all the significant decisions of the enterprise with which he is associated (along with angels who descend from heaven). All rise for St. Mario!



Let's start with some facts. You stated (exact quote):

"the beloved Mario had little to no involvement in the product (pizza), the restaurant or anything else with this money $$$ making venture"

That looks to me like a statement of fact, which I happen to know is not true. I've made no claims of superior knowledge, I just happen to know that what you said is false. If you think I was being glib, it was unintentional, please accept my apologies. One might say that calling Mr. Batali "Saint Mario" three times in one paragraph is a little glib, but that's besides the point.

If you have any evidence to back up your statement, or even an explanation as to how you came to such a conclusion, please post it here. I'll wait.
#46
jimsock9
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 11:45:32 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by mousec

quote:
Originally posted by jimsock9

That's pretty much what I'm saying, too, Russ. I mean, anyone on the channel (and probably all their relatives) can outcook me! I guess it's just his personality and -what's with the hair-????
He just doesn't act like a regular guy to me.
How do "regular guys" act???


Well.....like 007bond-JB.....no B.S., just a man fixin' some great food.
#47
Scorereader
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 11:54:43 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by David_NYC

Folks, I think we should understand the difference between CELEBRITY restaurants and CELEBRITY CHEF restaurants. We have seen restaurants with the names of movie stars, disk jockeys, professional athlethes, country music singers and the like. Then we hear about restaurants that are wholly or partly owned by famous chefs. Usually, the chef is associated with more than one restaurant. Celebrity chefs usually have demonstrable culinary skills. Celebrities who are primarily noted for success in fields other than cooking or baking may or may not have culinary skills.


Do you mean to say, that Don Shula is not in the kitchen cooking my steak! That's ridiculous! I'll never eat there again! I feel cheated...no wonder the Dolphins suck!
#48
NebGuy
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 13:02:50 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron

If you have any evidence to back up your statement, or even an explanation as to how you came to such a conclusion, please post it here. I'll wait.

Pigiron, I think you might be waiting longer than the Maytag repairman.
#49
BTB
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 13:21:52 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Pigiron
I happen to know for a fact that you're completely wrong . . . I just happen to know that what you said is false.
I've always enjoyed Batali's shows very much and would like to think it's true, but like someone else I'm a little skeptical, too, as many people might be about Batali's hands-on involvement in those pizzerias, as well as other so-called stars with their restaurants. What proof do you have, Pigiron? In all due respect, I'm always apprehensive about people who claim to "know for a fact." I, on the other hand, don't know for a fact, but please don't hold it against me and others for being skeptics. How do we get to know it one way or another on a roadfood blog where most of the information is just opinions? Will affidavits of an evening where Batali was present suffice? Pictures?

#50
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 13:28:39 (permalink)
We've been to Babbo three times, and each time we saw Mr. Batali, wearing kitchen clothes too. There's been some articles written in the NY Times about him and his restaurants (I think it was the Times). Supposedly he actually runs around during the evening to all his different NY places - they aren't that far apart. I guess that doesn't include his LA place, but I would be VERY surprised if he was not intimately involved in the conception of the restaurant and the pizzas served there.
#51
leethebard
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 13:57:09 (permalink)
I bet that's true!!!!!!!
#52
Pigiron
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 16:26:12 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BTB

What proof do you have, Pigiron? In all due respect, I'm always apprehensive about people who claim to "know for a fact." I, on the other hand, don't know for a fact, but please don't hold it against me and others for being skeptics.


When Mario Batali and Joe Bastinach were building Otto, I was consulting for a firm that was designing and installing some electrical systems in the space. In the 20 odd times I was in the restaurant during construction, Mario was there all but perhaps three times. It was very obvious that he had a personal interest in what was going on, from room design to kitchen layout to the menu.

Additionally, I regularly eat in his restaurants around NY (mostly in Otto, which is absolutely fabulous) and no, Mario is not cooking every dish that goes out, but he is there quite often and not just to show his face. He's very involved with the food production and the operation of the restaurants.

My personal experience with the restaurant was what I based my statements upon. I wouldn't call that "proof", it's just my experience.

Bobby Flay's place is another story completely......
#53
divefl
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/10 16:31:38 (permalink)
Truly hate these lists. Especially for diverse items where people tend towards regional types.

#54
Baah Ben
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/11 02:55:40 (permalink)
Mousec...There's no public relations factor involved in the restaurant review process?

One of the biggest changes, if not the biggest change to occur in the restaurant business over the past 10-15 years has been the industry's reliance on public relations firms. All the top chefs and all the top restaurants are now represented by one public relations firm or another. That's the name of the game today. I should have added the word "might" have something to do with his getting reviewed. I stand corrected for that.

Do you really think the chefs of today are any more skilled than their predessors? There were plenty of great creative chefs years ago, but they never made the money these guys are making. Why? These guys have PR firms extolling their virtues on the Internet, in magazines, etc. Book signings, lines of cutlery, plates, pots, pans, televison shows, etc. How do you think these guys and gals are getting these gigs? And you don't think they are getting their latest ventures reviewed before some husband and wife team, who's put their life savings up to open a little corner bistro...Sometimes with far better food! Do you know how hard it is to even be chosen to get reviewed amongst all the competiton. Try to get a review...It isn't easy.

Public relations firms most certainly one of many factors in a restaurant getting the opportunity to be reviewed. Now, what one does with that opportunity is a whole other story. And yes, there's at least a remote possibility that old Mario's public relations firm "might" have helped him get on that list. You want to discount the theory? Fine, but no need to be so hostile about it.
#55
David_NYC
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/11 09:22:28 (permalink)
The Internet has also made it easy for freelance writers to write features for such vehicles as in-flight magazines, city guides found in hotel rooms, trade rags, and "lifestyle" magazines. Looking over Don Burnham's article again, I note I could write an article called "10 Best Candy Stores" or "10 Best Steak Houses" or "10 Best Supermarkets", without ever having set foot in of any of them. All I need to do is find 10 whatevers (via Google) which have been already written about by others and which have a web site and a PR firm. I would contact the PR firm for some photos to be emailed to me, then rehash the hype on the web site and quote what others have written. My finished product could best be described as "bathroom reading". It could all have been down without a PR person contacting me first.

Except for publications that employ restaurant critics, I have noticed that publications such as free weeklies spend less and less money on producing features on dining establishments. They are fond of editorial content handed to them on a silver platter. This web site is different in that the non-shills who post here have actually visited and eaten at the establishments in question either recently or in the past.

We have had a lot of people post links to "10 Best.........." articles here lately. All they seem to be good for is honing the sarcastic writing skills of the posters here.
#56
firecommander3565
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/11 09:34:37 (permalink)
IF I am reading this correctly... Mario has a place in NY and one in LA.... he is pretty quick on his feet to be "involved" in his restaurants.
#57
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: 10 Best Pizzerias According to MSNBC 2008/03/11 10:33:57 (permalink)
It probably need not be stated again, but we will (so sue us): don't take any top xxx lists literally. Even when produced in good faith, there are other considerations the writers have take into account. No national publication is going to post, for instance, a list of top 10 pizzerias where 5 of them are in New York City and 3 of them are in Connecticut. Just doesn't happen. This even includes the lists Jane and Michael Stern have put together, and they have said so themselves. Most lists try to include a national sampling of places, whether they are really top 10 or 20 or whatever or not. Many lists will try to showcase different styles too. Sometimes they want a mix of old-timers and newcomers. Sometimes, places are listed because the writer has something interesting to say about them, and places are left off because it's all been said. And, yes, sometimes the lists are advertising.

Readers love top 10 lists. That's why publications keep posting them. Just don't take them too seriously.
#58
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