Star System Fails Again: Leslie Brenner Hands The Grape Two

I’m going to make this quick and clean: Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner doesn’t understand Dallas. Don’t shank me, let me type. I am not being mean; I am expressing my opinion. I have no vested interest in The Grape or The Commissary, two restaurants she has reviewed recently, but in both cases I felt she wrote dismissive evaluations using a damning-with-faint-praise attitude.

I’m also picking The Grape and The Commissary as examples because they both recently received 2 stars. I agree the service at The Commissary is still laughable, but Brenner failed to mention (or count as a plus) the fact chef John Tesar charges $6 for a burger cooked sous vide before finished off on the grill.

However, that doesn’t bother me as much as her parental attitude towards The Grape. Brenner just kicked a faithful old dog that is still learning new tricks. She ends her report with “And because there’s clearly some talent in the kitchen, it shouldn’t be too hard to fix what’s wrong on the plates.” In other words, do the plates my way and you’ll be a great restaurant.

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