We gave it an A-
Ruth Reichl’s fizzy third memoir begins in 1993, when The New York Times practically begs her to become its chief restaurant critic. Although ”smiles were in very short supply” around the Times‘ ”dreary” offices, she reluctantly accepts. Reichl seems to have led a charmed professional life, but she’s so expansive and funny you forgive her. Determined to give her column a democratic spin — ”I want to see how New York’s most elegant restaurant behaves when two old ladies show up at the door” — she puts on a variety of wigs and corresponding personas before dining out, one day embodying mousy Junior League matron ”Molly,” the next, her own crazy, imperious mother, Miriam. Reichl throws in some recipes, which don’t belong here, samples of her famous take-no-prisoners reviews, which do, and just enough catty gossip to spice up this fun confection.