A Big Thank-You to Nancy Nichols

We owe her a huge debt of gratitude.

nancy-nicholsEarlier this week, Nancy put up a post that posed some good questions about the DMN’s selection of the best restaurants of 2014. She posed those questions to Leslie Brenner, telling her that she wasn’t looking to pick a fight. As she’s done for 18 years, she just wanted to have a conversation about the Dallas dining scene. Brenner responded that her best list stood on its own. But clearly Nancy’s thoughtful questions worked their magic on Brenner. They were too good to go unanswered. Because today, after telling Nancy that the best list stood on its own, Brenner wrote 1,300 words answering Nancy’s questions. I still don’t understand how the restaurant of the year could merit only three stars. But whatever. We’ve got ourselves a conversation. Thank you, Nancy, for starting it.


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  • DelkusSleeves

    “I hope we can all, on the Dallas dining front, get back to our work — of writing and cooking and offering diners and readers great experiences, great reads, great dishes, real hospitality.”

    Isnt she the reason we got away from exactly what she is asking us to get back to, because she made herself the story? Its also nice to see she hasn’t changed one bit, as she talks about being on her “perch.” Whatever. Thanks NN, I find myself reading the food blog here more and more than I ever did before

  • bob

    Not looking to pick a fight? Yeah right Rogers.

  • Linda Sparks

    I had to read mrs Brenner’s story twice. I still don’t understand it. And it seems disingenuous for her to call for civil discussion and then refer to Nancy as a blogger. I asked in Nancy’s earlier post if she’d asked Steven Pyles for a comment. I’d like to hear how he feels about this.

    • Robert

      What part did you not understand? Brenner seemed to offer pretty cogent answers to Nancy’s primary questions, i.e. how could she leave Knife off the best new restaurant list and how could Gemma’s chef not be among the best chefs if Gemma was her best new restaurant. And by the way, Nancy was acting as a blogger when she posed the questions.

  • UpTn DallasSocial

    Hulk Hogan versus Rick Flair. You decide which is which. Whooooo!

  • Just Me

    From Ms. Brenners post:

    “The Dallas dining community has grown so much in the last five years — to the point that our restaurant scene is not just the pride of Texas, but one of the most interesting in the country. It’s an honor and a privilege to continue covering such an incredibly vibrant and dynamic culinary landscape.”

    This just makes me sad. The Dallas dining community has always been growing. You would think with the archives available to the writer (online no less), she would take a moment to look at the history of Dallas cuisine before making such a overreaching statement.

    She starts out well, yes, all things change. But then she refuses to acknowledge the vibrant food culture that the city has always had. It only starts 5 years ago, coincidentally when she appeared. Disingenuous at the very least, lazy, possibly, wrong certainly.

    Things change. Like food. For example at one time it was trendy for chefs to strive for the Culinary Olympics. Perhaps today passe, but in its time it was a big deal. Dallas chefs were active participants in this competition that won the USA a gold medal. But old food now, I know. Other chefs have received crritical acclaim through the years since. What are they? Chopped liver? It makes them history.

    And an important history for our city, but largely ignored by a writer with an ego that can see no farther than the menu in front of her. Dismissal of the accomplishments of these trend setting (yes, there was a new Southwest cuisine before the new Southwest cuisine) gives one the impression that before she appeared nobody cared. Until we were shown how wrong we were. By her. Thank you. Lord save us Leslie is here.

    Because she sees the error of our ways. We are too Dallas. Believe me when I say I hope we lose more than 5 lbs of Ms. Brenner.

    And what’s with the slap at the close of Ms. Brenner’s post? Not so subtle. But then too, not so Dallas.

  • Les Hall

    I’ve got no dog in this fight, but I get how Stephan Pyles can be uber chef whilst his restaurant may not be so because of X, Y & Z.

    On the other hand I also do not get how Pecan Lodge can be so rated when my experience was so mediocre. Theses days new treats in Noaklicff are worth checking out. Especially Victor Hugo and Smallbrewpub. Scratch that – do not go there. We like to keep them for ourselves 🙂

  • Tsuki Caspary-Brooks

    put down the ducky’? I trust Nancy Nichols, not hip ‘Brennerisms’…

  • TheGinaMiller

    I have passively watched this entire controversy from afar. I keep making comparisons to the sports world and wonder how much we would skew guys if they whined as much as all the parties in this issue did. Yes, I understand reviews affect business but…whatever.

    What makes me giggle more than anything is the sensitivity & lack of balls or ladyballs Brenner has. She’s a freaking critic. Does she not think her work (or Nancy’s or Tim’s or mine or any of us who blog, write, do radio, are on TV, etc) is not subject to criticism?

    If you are willing to accept and bask in praise then you should be willing take the criticism and tough questions as well.

  • TheGinaMiller

    Of course…I think they’re even working to make it legal. Although Evan and Jim might take issue with it.