The demotion caused some surprise from readers and blowback from the chef, who insinuated to Rappahannock News that the decision was more about getting readers than what the restaurant deserved. "Most of us understand that, in today's world, as print media struggles for survival, creating controversy sells magazines whether it's ethical or not," he said in a statement to the magazine.
Critic Todd Kliman responds to the claim at length in the story. "Unethical?I really don't understand what chef O'Connell is trying to say there. The word I would use is: honest."
The piece talks about several issues the critics had with meals at The Inn, whether it be small portions on the vegetarian tasting menu, or cooking flaws such as gritty scallops.