There’s a new take-out sandwich and pasta joint opening up in the Davis Square storefront where at least four other food spots have withered and died in the past four years. There was the health food place, the other health food place, the panini place, and finally, the consistently disappointing burritos but at least they have free Wi-Fi place.
The new restaurant, called The Green Tomato, had barely put its name on the door when the luminescent and feline Mrs. Pax Arcana and I noticed something else on the window. Apparently this restaurant has been repeatedly voted Top Restaurant by something called the Marketing Association of America (or some equally onerously-named group — I really can’t remember). Top restaurant of what? Where? Voted by who? The marketing what?
Which brings us to Osteria L’Intrepido, an entirely fake restaurant “established” by wine writer Robin Goldstein for the purposes of applying for a Wine Spectator magazine Award of Excellence. Goldstein faked a menu and a wine list that included many of the worst-rated Italian wines as determined by Wine Spectator, and sent in the application and $250 entry fee.
Osteria L’Intrepido won the Award of Excellence, as published in print in the August 2008 issue of Wine Spectator. (Not surprisingly, the Osteria’s listing has been removed from Wine Spectator’s website since I posted this.) I presented this result at the meeting of the American Association of Wine Economists in Portland, Oregon, on Friday, August 15.
It’s troubling, of course, that a restaurant that doesn’t exist could win an Award of Excellence. But it’s also troubling that the award doesn’t seem to be particularly tied to the quality of the supposed restaurant’s “reserve wine list,” even by Wine Spectator’s own standards.
And so it is with great pleasure that I confer upon Robin Goldstein the 2008 Pax Arcana Award for Hilarious Awesomeness on the Internet (Food Category). May it stand proudly on his resume like a beacon of hope in a silly, silly world.
Fake Restaurant Wins Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence [Menu Pages]
What does it take to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence? [Osteria L’Intrepido]