The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

The Hungry Hound Gets Booted Out Of g.e.b.

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jun 29, 2012 4:40PM

Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography, via
Chefs have publicly tossed critics and food writers out of New York and L.A. restaurants, but we liked to think that Chicagoans were more friendly (or more service-oriented) than that. Looks like we should have known better; ABC 7 "Hungry Hound" Steve Dolinsky was tossed out of g.e.b. in the middle of lunch yesterday.

Eater first reported the tale yesterday afternoon. Dolinsky was having lunch at the new Randolph Street restaurant when a phone edict came in from Chef/Owner Graham Elliot ordering Dolinsky out of the restaurant after the third course. Why? Because of Elliot's feelings about his behavior during a dinner at Charlie Trotter's last October.

During that dinner, Dolinsky live tweeted his feelings about the meal, which were not positive. Elliot told Eater: "When he ate at Charlie Trotter's and live tweeted through the whole meal how shitty it was, to me that's so egregiously over the line that I absolutely will not have someone like that at my establishment." Elliot said that he'd never done this to anyone before, but if he'd been there, he would have removed Dolinsky personally.

Dolinsky responded with a blog post this morning. He pointed out that many critics that are mean to a particular restaurant (or even a whole city) but, "I never expected to get thrown out of a restaurant for a tweet. That wasn’t even directed at the restaurant I was dining in. Nine months ago."

This seems like a somewhat silly personal spat between a chef with a big ego and a media personality with a big mouth - perhaps both qualities that help each man do his respective job, but that are going to result in hurt feelings. The only potential problem we see is this tweet from Graham Elliot, sent in response to Dolinsky's inquiry as to why he had been removed. "Sorry, i can’t serve anyone that tweets negative things about a restaurant while eating in that restaurant. #CharlieTrotters.”

If that's the case, we'd be willing to bet about a good portion of the dining public could be tossed out of g.e.b.; almost anyone with a Twitter account has said something bad about a business at some point. Watch what you tweet. Or don't, if you believe that a diner is entitled to his or her opinion. We usually wait until after the meal to comment, but that attitude of Elliot's is a bit over the line, in our estimation. What's next: not being able to say mean things about the chef in the kitchen to your dining companion?