Constructive criticism

Many of you have heard me rant about a certain newspaper around these parts and how much I applaud one of its chief rivals for remembering its purpose: to inform the people. Note that I did not just say “pat itself on the back,” “use words like ‘ramshackle’ or ‘hardscrabble’ ” or “grant us the privilege of paying a goodly amount each day to be enlightened by your ever-so-enlightened-and-bemused-and-earnest-yet-somehow-dispassionate-
nay-bloodless-writers.”

I just realized that this review of wine bars in New York is the first review I’ve actually finished reading in some time. Yes, it has a little attitude and opinion, but it lacks that irritating snobbery you often find elsewhere. These writers didn’t set out to prove how how snarky or sophisticated they could be in their criticism. Instead, it seems they actually set out to — gasp — help their readers navigate the wine bar scene. They did so without dumbing it down, too, which I also appreciate.

Anyhow, cheers to Sara Lieberman and Sara Stewart for getting it right.

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