Photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News.


Leslie Brenner Resigns From Dining Critic Post at Dallas Morning News

The newspaper will lead a national search for a replacement.

Leslie Brenner announced today that she is resigning from her post as restaurant critic at the Dallas Morning News, a position she has held for the past eight years. In those years, the Dallas dining scene has changed tremendously. And Brenner has been a precise and often critical presence. According to the Dallas Morning News, on September 8, Brenner will be moving from her current position to a senior management position with Rebees, a restaurant and real estate company headed by the talented Tristan Simon. (If you have been following the dining scene, Simon is responsible for some of the most talked-about development at Victory Park.)

Before taking my position as dining critic for D Magazine, I wrote a number of reviews for Brenner. I found her to be a precise editor and a lover of a well-turned phrase. The Dallas Morning News announced that it will lead a national search to find Brenner’s replacement. Given where Dallas is now, compared to eight years ago, there is far more to absorb. The city has layers. And that, of course, for a city that loves to dine, is a good thing.

In recent months, The Dallas Morning News has reshuffled its staff, leading to positions that include other commitments. Over the last year, some readers may have been following Brenner’s blog, Cooks Without Borders, where she explored the making of dishes in a home kitchen. The News experimented with sit-down interviews with chefs like Tim Byers or Mudhen’s Suki Otsuki, which followed the release of certain major dining reviews last year. As the landscape of dining changes, so do approaches to the coverage. Brenner was one of the first dining critics to dispense with anonymity, a move that mirrored a handful of others nationwide. Brenner–and the Morning News’ star systemalso created a certain amount of controversy. I know a number of readers will be wondering: yes, but will they abolish those much-contested stars?


  • What they should really focus on is hiring a reviewer who actually likes the regional food of the place they are working in (Tex-Mex.)

    • Marcie Batten

      Eyes were rolling over the “correct wine” to serve with Bar-B-Que lamentations.

      • How is that even a question? There’s only one answer — Boones Farm Strawberry Hill.

  • alexander troup

    She is in a good state of mind and that is a wise move seeing how an old raggey newspaper is now living on borrowed time,she made the right move as we eat into another summer of good choices…Good Luck Girl….and By Old Media…..

  • Poetaster Dallas

    I credit her with inspiring my best line of mediocre poetry, ever. Last line. Well turned phrase, indeed.

    It’s a French revolution! So sayeth Ms. B
    (Not surprising, considering her bromography).
    But her tongue down my palate is getting quite old
    And her manner of writing has left me plain cold.

    Never mind that the French have been cooking here
    Since the 1800’s. It’s historical, my dear.
    This speustic post is but one fine example
    Of a summer of kisses, her opinions quite ample.

    Spring mix? Mortal enemy? Are you fuc*ing kidding?
    Lola Rosa, favored lettuce, she’s not forbidding
    From her endless efforts to struggle with weight
    (One wonders if it’s all food that she does hate).

    After all, she can tell if a restaurant is worthwhile
    By downloading their menu online. Now that’s style.
    Regardless if guests think the food’s pretty good
    She’s looking for keywords, not flavor, understood?

    But I cannot resist a final jab at Brenner’s cooking
    Since apparently it’s now fine to judge by just looking,
    (While it’s possible an appetite this dish would sate)
    Your lentil-celery salad looks like vomit on a plate.