In yet another retributive strike by a restaurateur against Frank Bruni (Jeffrey Chodorow's much-discussed broadside being the first), Morandi owner Keith McNally has planted a letter with Eater accusing the Times critic of being biased against woman chefs. “Bruni had never given a female chef in Manhattan anything more than one star, ever,” McNally writes. The complaint goes on for a long time and seems unlike McNally, who has almost always stayed above the fray. What’s especially unseemly is the way the letter dwells on Bruni’s attitude toward gender (“…when the chef is a man Bruni often makes quite a song and dance about it.”) Given the amount of food-world speculation about Bruni’s sexual orientation, this seems like a low blow, especially since the Times’ review echoed a near-universal critical consensus about Morandi. Times dining editor Pete Wells, asked to comment about the letter, agrees, saying simply, “Frank’s review speaks for itself. Period.”
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