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Two Reviewers, Three Duplicate Restaurants Reviews in Three Months

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Unless you're a loyal reader who gets all your restaurant news from Westword (and if you are, thank you!), you've no doubt noticed that Denver Post critic William Porter and I seem to be tracing each other's footsteps. Over the past few months, we've had reviews of the same restaurant published on the same day not once, not twice, but three times -- most recently in the case of Amass, which we both reviewed last week (albeit very differently).

See also: Amass Wants to Be a French Bistro, But It Lacks the Critical Mass

Theories for this abound. I've been asked if we dine together (we don't). Others wondered about a bug at our editorial meetings or a conspiracy of some sort, though it wasn't clear what kind of conspiracy that might be. While such musings make for good cocktail party conversation, the reason for the overlap is more mundane: coincidence, bounded by the guidelines that both of us follow when choosing what to review.

Don't just take my word for it. To put the theories to rest once and for all, I reached out to Porter, who had this to say. "It's entirely random, of course. I have no explanation except that there is a somewhat smallish pool of eligible and attractive dining review candidates at any one time -- places that have been open a couple of months and thus have their sea legs under them, and have enough buzz to draw curious dining critics through their doors. Other than that, it's just sort of a culinary version of Time and Newsweek simultaneously putting Springsteen on their covers in October 1975. If you can stand the prehistoric reference."

Given how frequently Porter and I seem to be eating at the same places, the real question might be this: How long before we bump into each other mid-meal?


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