In this morning’s New York Times, critic Frank Bruni selects his favorite new restaurants across the country (defined as having opened between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2007).

Surprise, surprise: Michel Richard makes Bruni’s Top 10 list, as the only D.C. establishment in the group. Personally, I’m getting a little tired of seeing his French Santa clause-esque face. So, let’s get a little backlash going here.

Despite the ranking, Bruni’s a bit brutal toward Richard. In an audio clip that accompanies his review, he and two friends chat (apparently during their drive home) about the meal. “I had a couple of questions about the service…. remember a moment I’d call close to tragic when our wine glasses were completely empty. I think we went 10 minutes without wine.” Tragic indeed. Then, one of Bruni’s companions called the meal simply “pretty good.” Sounds like Top 10 quality to me.