OK guys, it's time to bone up on the meaning of the word "review." Earlier this morning on Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema's online chat, a commenter accused the Washington City Paper of running a review of Petworth's Chez Billy "seemingly based in part on tasting hors d'oeuvres passed at a media-only event." Not one to take it lying down, City Paper food editor Chris Shott took to his blog to explain things. And to inform you what the word "review" means:
"When a new restaurant opens in the District, oftentimes we'll send someone to cover it, so that you, the reader, have some idea about what to expect. This is not meant to be taken as a formal review of that restaurant. That's something else entirely. In fact, most of the content that you read here is not, in fact, a review."
Apparently this is a problem that has come up before for the City Paper, people taking non-reviews as reviews and getting mad about it. When it comes to this one in particular, Shott writes, "Sam [Hiersteiner]'s post was not intended as a formal review, nor should it be taken as such. ... I have tried to find ways to make this distinction more clear to readers. If anyone has suggestions, I'm happy to hear them."
And, in case you were worried, Shott explains that the paper does pay its own way for real reviews and while "[o]ther media outlets may conveniently omit that information," the City Paper always notes when it accepts free food, as it did in that particular piece.
[Photo: Will Mitchell/WCP via WaPo]