When the Dallas Morning News' restaurant critic Leslie Brenner showed up 15 minutes late to her 8:00-on-a-Friday-night reservation at Howard Wang's Uptown China Brasserie, she found that she was not treated with the respect an anonymous food critic deserves. That is, until she was recognized and given a good table.
When Brenner arrived, she found her table had been given away, and she and her party, who'd been unavoidably detained drinking cocktails elsewhere, were asked to eat at the bar or wait on a table. They said they'd wait.
Banished to the bar like just another normal diner who showed up fifteen minutes late to her dinner reservation because she was busy drinking down the street, Brenner acknowledges that "Obviously we should have called."
But atop her barstool, she was recognized by restaurateur Shawn Horne (of Horne and Dekker) who is currently working as a Wang's consultant. Fifteen minutes later, Brenner says they were given a "nice table." She even owns up to being identified in her three-star review: "I was recognized as a critic, and no doubt was receiving the best possible service."
[Photo: Howard Wang's Uptown China Brasserie]