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Rolling the Dice: Secession

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.

By popular demand—okay, two or three folks asked for it—Rolling the Dice has returned for the first time since July.

The Line: Tomorrow, we have a doozy, as Frank Bruni tackles the TriBeCa trainwreck, David Bouley’s Secession. The Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows (√√ denotes the Eater bet):

Zero Stars: 5-1 √√
One Star: 3-1
Two Stars: 6-1
Three Stars: 60-1
Four Stars: 20,000-1

The Skinny: We didn’t like Secession, and we don’t know anyone who did. Eater already gave ample reasons for predicting the goose-egg, which we’ll amplify. Steve Cuozzo liked it, and Cuozzo is practically the anti-Bruni.

Bruni doesn’t like phoned-in restaurants with consulting chefs on the roster and more than 70 items on the menu. He’s not especially fond of French cuisine, which this mostly is. He takes offense at over-priced mediocrity, and faux luxury.

Alain Ducasse’s Benoit managed to eke out an unenthusiastic one-star review. But Benoit, uneven though it is, at least feels authentic. Secession feels fake, and it will take a lot more than just modest tweaks to fix it. You get the sense that Bouley needs a wake-up call. Our man Bruni is the man to deliver it.

The Bet: For the return of “Rolling the Dice,” we thought hard about bucking the Eater prediction. The trouble is, we just can’t make the one-star case. We’re not saying it can’t happen, but we don’t see it.

We agree with Eater that Frank Bruni will award no stars to Secession.


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