This week, Frank Bruni awarded three stars to yet another Italian restaurant, Fiamma. Perhaps sensitive to the fact that it seems to be the only cuisine he likes, Bruni tries to argue that it’s not really Italian:
Would you find these entrees in Italy, even up north? Maybe, in a very fussy restaurant. In most others, no. And who cares? They’re prepared with finesse and they’re the definition of luxury, no matter the geography, no matter the language… Fiamma is about as Italian as a poodle in a Prada scarf. [Say, what???]
The review once again uses Frank’s favorite insult, “fussy”. Somehow, Fiamma managed to overcome that liability. It doesn’t happen often. Bruni insists that the cuisine “owes its classically indulgent soul to France.” Somehow I suspect that if a northern European chef were in the kitchen—Gabriel Kreuther, for instance—two stars would be the maximum.
One never knows with Bruni, but based on other reports I’ve read, I can’t quarrel with the rating, although Eater and I had forecasted two stars, and thus lose $1 on our hypothetical bets.
Eater NYJ Bankroll $61.50 $70.67 Gain/Loss –1.00 –1.00 Total $60.50 $69.67 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Won–Lost 25–9 25–9