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No one needs to invoke the events of 9/11 to make a point. Especially not after it has produced this and this.

But that did not stop the Washingtonian‘s award-winning dining critic (and former CP food writer) Todd Kliman from attempting to grab readers with a 9/11 ref in the first graph of his February review of the new Farrah Olivia in Old Town:

In the post-9/11 world, many restaurants have been unable to resist the reassuring certainties of comfort food. Not Farrah Olivia. The place risks, and risks big. I would sooner expect to find deconstructed Big Macs at Mickey D’s that I would mac-and-cheese at this new Alexandria restaurant.

What is perhaps most painful isn’t that Kliman, a usually great writer, dropped the Sept. 11 bomb nor that he finessed with the “many restaurants,” but that he didn’t need to make that point at all. The ref just sets up a comfort-food straw man. As he says, Farrah Olivia “risks big”—-it ain’t making pizza for grieving mothers in New Jersey. It’s producing cured quail and other entrees for $18 to $32 a plate. It pipes in ’80s metal and Wham.

So please, foodies, stop mentioning 9/11, even if you do have to review a steaming bowl of mac-and-cheese.