"A 'Good plus half a star' appears to describe our restaurant as 'Pretty Good,'" he writes. "Her first visit, at the bar, inspired her to send a photographer and for inclusion in her "Best of the New" article in the Sunday Magazine. Her second visit lowered her opinion so drastically that a third visit could not repair the damage."
First shared Bond's statement on Facebook, adding her own "very minor point of clarification" that the "Best of the New" article is a "collaborative effort" and that she "shared a byline with 25 other people for the food selections...[she] would have included Bondir Concord were [she] the editor, but [she] did not write that item." She also notes that while Bond interpreted the star rating as 'pretty good,' others could "see it as 'half a star short of excellent.'"
But Bond does see the rating as "pretty good," and that's not good enough. "I must take an issue with the description 'Pretty Good' to describe Bondir Concord," he writes. "It does not recognize the work and the quality that goes into a guest's experience. It does not recognize the small touches one sees on every wall, the drape of a linen, a hand-blown vase with a bud, a particular china matched to a particular table, the unique experience we are offering our guests."
Responses to the statement vary depending on where they're posted. Unsurprisingly, comments on Bondir Concord's Facebook page are quite supportive of the restaurant. ("Did she eat at the same restaurant that we have had four amazing meals at?" posts one fan. "I can't imagine what she was thinking."
Meanwhile, Devra First's Facebook post is attracting comments more supportive of the review: "I don't want a chef to be 'given the opportunity to talk about what we are trying to do,'" writes one person. "I want the reviewer to enter the restaurant as I, the hungry customer, would, and to assess the experience from that perspective (while of course adding the insight that a seasoned reviewer can bring to the table). That's what makes a review most useful for me."
And local food critic MC Slim JB chimes in on his own Facebook page: "It might feel righteous, but I think it's a PR mistake for a restaurateur to respond publicly to a middling review...I think a more effective response from a business and PR perspective would have been one that said, 'We're grateful for all the nice things Devra said about us in the Globe review,' pretending there were no negatives. Better yet, don't respond directly at all: act like you've been there before, move along, and continue to cultivate loyal regulars and positive word-of-mouth."
· All coverage of Bondir on Eater [~EBOS~]