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Rolling the Dice: Resto

Every week, we take our turn with Lady Luck on the BruniBetting odds as posted by Eater. Just for kicks, we track Eater’s bet too, and see who is better at guessing what the unpredictable Bruni will do. We track our sins with an imaginary $1 bet every week.

The Line: Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews the foolishly-named Belgian eatery Resto. Eater’s official odds are as follows (√√ denotes the Eater bet):

Zero Stars: 4-1
One Star: 2-1
Two Stars: 5-1 √√
Three Stars:
Four Stars: 25,000-1

The Skinny: In this week’s game, jokers are wild. Anything can happen. As Eater points out, Resto would have historically belonged in the $25-and-under critic’s territory, and wouldn’t have had a starred review at all. But with Peter Meehan reviewing taco trucks these days, any restaurant with seating defaults to Bruni. With most of the entrées at Resto priced below $20, this is precisely the kind of restaurant Bruni loves.

Bruni certainly hasn’t hesitated to award two stars to unlikely candidates. But when he does so, it’s usually only when the restaurant has already achieved a significant “foodie following.” Frank then swoops in, and his rating confirms what the experts already knew. Resto has flown mostly under the radar, notwithstanding a 4-out-of-5 rating on New York’s “casual scale.” If any of the usual suspects have suggested that Resto was a NYT two-star restaurant, I must have missed it.

Frank sometimes grades on a gentler curve when reviewing restaurants in under-served neighborhoods, but no one would seriously suggest that 29th Street at Park Avenue South is such a neighborhood.

The Bet: Though we won’t be surprised to wake up to a two-star review, we are going to bet conservatively this week on one star.

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