A cautionary tale

Attention, Ottawa restaurant lovers: The Citizen has a new eBook out (for $3.99), called “Ottawa Restaurants.” Nothing wrong with that: Ottawa diners deserve a good e-guide collection of restaurant reviews. What’s wrong, and hence this cautionary note, is for a news organization to publish, presumably as a useful tool to its readers, restaurant reports that are out of date.

Please be aware: Michael Blackie is no longer executive chef at Le Café; Matthew Carmichael is not at Sidedoor, Social or Restaurant Eighteen; Steve Wall is long gone from town Restaurant; Michael Hay moved from The Courtyard to Back Lane Café last summer; Dirk McCabe has gone to Calgary and chef Katie Brown is now in charge of Beckta Dining and Wine.  There may be other factual errors; I haven’t had time to fine-tooth comb the entire book.

I’d be less concerned if my name weren’t attached to three quarters of the reviews in this e-Guide. And I’d be deeply concerned if it were construed that I was profiting from their re-publication all  these months/years later. I’m not.  So please, let the record show, I stopped writing for The Citizen in March, 2012. Some of the 60-plus DesBrisay reviews in the Citizen’s new guide are from 2009,  others are from 2010, and many of these contain information that is now incorrect. I was not asked to update any of the reviews, nor, in fact, was I consulted at all during their compilation. This is the Citizen’s right, apparently, as it owns my freelance copy, but it doesn’t make it right for you, the reader.

All guidebooks – even electronic ones – become ‘dated’ eventually. This one was dated from the get-go. Caveat emptor.







7 responses to “A cautionary tale”

  1. danielle vinette Avatar
    danielle vinette

    Thank you for the cautionary note, Anne. This is very much appreciated as not only restaurants often change, but chefs do as well.
    Citizen, take note!

  2. Colette Dery Avatar
    Colette Dery

    Bravo and thank you for the warning-heads up. The Citizen’s inattention to the fluid nature of restaurants – and chefs – does a great disservice to Ottawa diners. I am just grateful you are there to set the record straight.

  3. Peggy Proctor Avatar
    Peggy Proctor

    Shame on the Ottawa Citizen!!

  4. HouseSparrow Avatar

    How crappy of the Citizen! I most certainly will not be buying or recommending that guide. Thanks for the heads-up.

  5. Don Morrison Avatar
    Don Morrison

    Thanks for the info, Anne. We really miss your Citizen columns. The reviews have gone downhill since your untimely departure.

  6. PR Avatar

    Eagerly awaiting the next print (or online) version of Capital Dining!

    1. Anne Avatar

      Hi Paula! Happy New Year and thanks much for your note.

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