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How Mariani IDs a Bad Restaurant (Hint: Todd English)

Esquire magazine's restaurant features writer John Mariani has a slideshow/listicle thing that was ostensibly a "21-step guide your food bible for Valentine's Day." Some of the tips ("Wear a jacket or blazer," "Don't order soup. It will end up on your shirt.") are just brainfuckingly painful to read.

But then he gets sassy (and we like sassy) when he writes about the "ways to tell a restaurant is bad." Some sound like an old Mr Crankpants complaining ("the bar is packed," "the host says there's a half-hour wait for a table," "the tables are so close together that the waiter has to pull them out to sit you down").

Anyway, some tips sound like he's drawing from personal experience: "it's one of Todd English's restaurants." That is sort of harsh! But then there's also "the waiters have track marks on their arms" and "there are women's undergarments stapled above the bar." We've heard of bars like this, but where the hell is Mariani eating dinner?

The text, so you don't have to mindlessly click on 17 slides to read it, below:

Tonight's music selection: showtunes!; the menu has tassels; the winelist comes in a three-ring binder; the place has no listed phone number; the tables are so close together that the waiter has to pull them out to sit you down; it's one of Todd English's restaurants; the waiters have track marks on their arms.

and

The host proudly offers you a free glass of "kee-ann-tee" if you order an entrée; there is a bouncer out front; the bar is packed, but the dining area is empty; there are women's undergarments stapled above the bar; the restroom is unisex; the host says there's a half-hour wait for a table.

· How to Take a Woman to Dinner the Right Way [Esquire]
· All John Mariani Coverage on Eater [-E-]
[Photo: thebusinessmakers/Flickr]