A 3 1/2 Okun Review

Janice Okun dined at the somewhat newly reconstituted Rue Franklin, and reviews it here. For the second time in as many weeks, she did not give a half-star. This is a peculiar change from the norm.

What we do learn from her review of this venerable French restaurant is the following:

1. Her dessert was “nonthreatening”. That seems to be the underlying theme for most Okun reviews; one might describe it as, “almost totally subliminal”.

2. Lighting is important to a restaurant’s ambiance. Who knew?

3. The portions were to her liking; i.e., large.

4. Although this is a French place with traditional French dishes such as seared foie gras, Ragôut of veal sweetbreads with white wine, mushrooms, tomato and tarragon, poule au pot, and a braised short rib specialty of Gascony, she ordered two benign salmon dishes.

5. As usual, there is less information about dishes’ flavor than there is about ambiance, lighting, and the fact that Okun knows the waiter’s name.

As such, I give this review three and a half okuns. In keeping with the Gusto’s restaurant reviews, I will give no background on how the okuns are awarded.


  • Nice piece. I suppose every critic has legions of their own critics but this woman has severely outlived any usefulness when it comes to understanding, discussing, or critiquing food and dining. My only concern is when she does leave (though she seems to possess Ralph Wilson like longevity) given the complacency & ineptitude of the Buffalo News does anyone have faith that she will be replaced by someone with any higher degree of competency? Perhaps they’ll bring in Mr. Food…”oooo, it’s so good.”

  • “Okuns” spelled backwards is “Snuk-o”.

  • And an anagram for “Suk? No.”

  • What about the booths?

  • This is written in poor taste.

  • @Eric Esmonde got in enough trouble writing about those recently

  • Does it really matter? Buffalo news reviews never show up in the top 10 of a google search results page due to poor search engine optimization, so no one reads them anyway unless they have the physical paper in their hands. As soon as their articles are written, they’re forgotten about.

  • This maybe true Brian, but some of these reviews get bronzed or laminated for all to see for many years by the proud owners.

  • I just read her review of Rick’s on Main and canot believe how idiotic this woman is. She actually states that she finds the combination of lamb with cherries as “alien” and admits to “scraping it off” before eating the lamb! Christ, has this woman never heard of the Middle East and Turkey where lamb and cherries are in abundant supply and mixed together frequently? I’ve been making lamb shanks braised in cherry wine (or pomegranate if available) for years with a cherry wine reduction sauce (good luck scraping the flavot off that dish!) Is she averse to mixing other fruits with meat, too? How about a pork tenderloin with an apple glaze. Probably too alien a concept… we must return to the 1950s where pork/ham is serverd with pineapple and lamb only comes with mint jelly! (Although in the review she complains about the mint with lamb, too.) And I have a feeling if she found the scallop appetizer large and very spicy then for the rest of us it would be normal sized and fairly bland.

    Just the one fact alone, that she’s never heard of lamb being served with a cherry sauce or garnish indicates she is not fit to be a restaurant reviewer. I can’t imagine (don’t want to) what her bland 1950 style meals, that she serves at home, are like. Salisbury steak with green bean casserole? Yay, 4 stars!!! NOT!

  • Uh oh Ms. Okun, you better avoid Siena Restaurant. They serve pork chops with a blood orange reduction and lamb with fresh pineapple!

    I just found that on a quick search of popular established restaurants in the area.

    Sounds “unproven” and “containing many ingredients” so better warn your followers. (aka. xenophobic, stingy, boring, old people)

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