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The Payoff: Harry Cipriani

Harry Cipriani sucks. Who knew? Today, Frank Bruni uncorks just the second POOR rating of his tenure:1

Over the years the Cipriani restaurant family and its employees have faced charges of sexual harassment, insurance fraud and tax evasion, the last leading to guilty pleas by two family members in July.

But the crime that comes to mind first when I think of the Ciprianis is highway robbery…


But what I remember most vividly about that particular night is the potatoes. And I hasten to add that I’m taking it on faith that they were potatoes.

That’s what they visually suggested, those desiccated yellow-beige coins that had somehow acquired the texture of Brillo and could almost have been used to scrub whatever pan they had emerged from.

We might well have expected this takedown, if only an online price list had been available. $66.95 for sirloin? $36.95 for lasagna? And what’s with those prices that end in “.95” when dinner costs as much as a car payment? The word that comes to mind is tacky.

Eater and NYJ both thought that Frank Bruni would award one star, and we both lose a dollar.

  Eater   NYJ
Bankroll $59.50   $68.67
Gain/Loss –1.00   –1.00
Total $58.50   $67.67
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 24–8   24–8

1 In the New York Times system, there are three ratings below one star: Satisfactory, Fair, and Poor. Bruni’s other Poor was Ninja, and he has never issued a “Fair” rating. He gives out around a half-dozen satisfactories per year.

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