For one of the most feared men in London these days, the writer A. A. Gill looks incongruously relaxed. Perched at the dining table of his Fulham apartment ? easily found thanks to a Mountain Dew-colored Bentley parked out front ? Mr. Gill, who looks a decade younger than his 50 years, is answering the charge that he is, hands down, London’s most vicious restaurant critic.
“I take issue with `poison pen,’ ” said Mr. Gill, known as Adrian to friends and enemies alike, a devious smile flickering across his face. “I care an enormous amount about restaurants and food, and I get very angry when they’re bad. But I don’t close down restaurants. Bad food closes down restaurants. Rude service closes down restaurants. All I do is notice it.
“Americans got a glimpse of Mr. Gill’s rougher treatment this summer, in the August issue of Vanity Fair, when Mr. Gill eviscerated 66, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s TriBeCa restaurant. In his review, Mr. Gill likened the shrimp and foie gras dumplings at 66 to “fishy, liver-filled condoms” and called them “properly vile, with a savor that lingered like a lovelorn drunk and tasted as if your mouth had been used as the swab bin in an animal hospital.” While many American readers were stunned by Mr. Gill’s dyspeptic prose, to the English, the writing was as ordinary as pot roast for Sunday dinner.
Read the full article in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/fashion/09LOND.html