Frank Bruni: With Romera, Foodism Has Gone Too Far


While Ryan Sutton fumes over the lack of transparency at Romera, where he has been having a very hard time getting a straight answer about the price of wine, Frank Bruni takes a critical — if not quite a food critic’s — look at the new $245-per-person “neurogastronomy” restaurant in a Times op-ed piece. Unfortunately, for him, Romera represents everything that’s wrong with foodie culture nowadays.

Not only is the highly conceptualized, miniature-portioned food less than satisfying, says Bruni. But he feels the restaurant epitomizes “how much culinary vanity we’ve encouraged and pretension we’ve unleashed.” He writes:

While blazers are optional at Romera, straitjackets would be a fine idea. It’s the craziest example I’ve encountered of the way our culture’s food madness tips into food psychosis, at least among those with keen appetites and the means to indulge them.

It’s difficult to share our thoughts because it might be a while before we can scrape up the budget to properly review Romera. For now, it looks like this will be a conversation for the 1 percent to have among themselves. But Bruni’s disapproving critique does beg the question: How many stars would he have doled out for this “organoleptic” spectacle?