A Brief History of Critics Being Kicked Out of Restaurants

Adam Platt isn't the first critic to be booted—there's a storied history of chefs and restaurant owners telling critics to GTFO of their restaurants.

  • Photo: Getty Images, Red Medicine)
  • JOSH OZERSKYWho kicked him out?: David ChangFrom where?: All Momofuku restaurantsWhat happened?: While working for Grub Street as an editor-correspondent , Ozersky published a Momofuku Ko menu, before Momofuku chef David Chang felt it ready for release. Ozersky’s “scoop” got him banned for life from all Chang restaurants.  "There is no question in my mind that buffalo will graze in Times Square — and pink macaroons will fall from the sky — before Josh Ozersky ever makes it through the door of a Momofuku anywhere," Anthony Bourdain says in his book Medium Raw.(Photo: Getty Images, Yelp)
  • A.A. GILLWho kicked him out?: Gordon RamsayFrom where?: Restaurant Gordon RamsayWhat happened?: Back in 1998, Ramsay ejected The Sunday Times' and Vanity Fair food critic A. A. Gill along with his dining companion, Joan Collins, from his restaurant, leading Gill to state that "Ramsay is a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being." Ramsay admitted in his autobiography that he did not mind if Gill insulted his food, but a personal insult he was not going to stand for. We're guessing Gill wrote something not-so-nice about Ramsay in a review. (Photos: Getty Images)
  • S. IRENE VIRBILAWho kicked her out?: Red Medicine partner Noah EllisFrom where?: Red MedicineWhat happened?: Ellis spotted the LA Times critic, snapped a photo of her, and asked her party to leave. He posted the above photo of Virbila to the Red Medicine website, officially outing the previously anonymous critic. Check out the Red Medicine)
  • STEVE DOLINSKYWho kicked him out?: Graham ElliotFrom where?: G.E.B.What happened?: Last year, ABC 7's Steve Dolinsky was booted from Chicago's G.E.B., promoting the tweet: "Was just kicked out of g.e.b. after eating 3 dishes. Edict from GEB via phone. Weirdest thing ever. Classy." In response, G.E.B. chef Graham Elliot grahamelliot.com, Getty Images)
  • RON LIEBERWho kicked him out?: Marc ForgioneFrom where?: Restaurant Marc ForgioneWhat happened?: After enjoying a cocktail and noshing on some bread, NYTimes Dining contributor Ron Lieber heard "loud, sustained, top-of-lungs yelling" coming from the kitchen. "Without much forethought, I pushed back my chair and walked through the open doorway of the kitchen," Lieber marcforgione.com)

Yesterday, New York Magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt tweeted a photo of the Japanese sardines at ZZ’s Clam Bar, along with the following caption: “Platty’s last dish at the enjoyable (though insanely pricey) ZZ’s Clam Bar before a very large bouncer kicks us out.” In an interview about the incident on Grub Street, Platt says he and his fellow diners did not misbehave, and his best guess is that this was retribution for his one-star Carbone review that was published back in April. “Carbone was the first one where I had a few questions—and clearly they didn’t like that,” says the restaurant critic.

The bouncer and restaurant manager did not let him pay the bill before he left. “This is the first time after, I’m guessing, a thousand professional dinners, that I’ve been booted,” Platt tells Grub Street.

Adam Platt being kicked out of ZZ’s Clam Bar got us thinking: What other critics have been booted from restaurants? Besides maybe Jay Rayner, restaurant critics aren’t known to wild out or get rowdy at the restaurants they are reviewing. But bad reviews and restaurant takedowns can instill a lot of hatred and malice from owners, so it’s no wonder there are some stories to be told about critics getting the boot.

Click through the gallery to see a brief history of restaurant critics being booted out of restaurants.

Photo: Twitter

Photo: Twitter

RELATED: The 20 Most Ferocious Restaurant Reviews of All Time

[via Grub Street]

  • Mark

    This is possibly the worst page layout I have ever seen in my life. What browser is this supposed to work in? What crack addict web guru sold this to you?

    • Mayonnaise Hands

      I don’t know you but I may be in love.

  • Ianto_Jones

    What restaurant has bouncers? Is this a New York thing? I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the country.

  • Jay Rayner

    Always nice to be mentioned (albeit spelt incorrectly) but… why am I the restaurant critic known to have done the wild and rowdy thing? What are you referring to?

    • Chris Schonberger

      Pardon the egregious misspelling—no excuse for that. Rowdy may be an overstatement, but there was that whole Oxo Tower live-tweeting adventure…

Latest News