I'm reposting here with commments about celebrity-chef frenzy at the mods' request. The original thread is linked below.
I think celeb-chef frenzy is indeed a "foodie" problem, as illustrated my Bonfire example (a Todd English place I think is terrible, but kept alive by his undiscerning cult). It accounts for at least some of the early crowds at Toro (a new tapas place from locally-popular chef Ken Oringer of Clio and Uni fame), fanned by a very professionally-mounted PR campaign that yielded stories in the Boston dailies touting an imminent opening months before the actual event.
But I don't see a lot of foodie nonsense in the Toro posts on the Boston board, rather: a) genuine interest and hopefulness from 'hounds who live nearby, in an underserved corner of Boston's South End; and b) some balanced, unlemming-like assessments of the place from 'hounds who have actually been.
It's an old indie-rock conundrum: if a band I liked when it was obscure gets signed to a major label, does it now suddenly suck? I think you have to forgive the band for its success, the same way you have to forgive new restaurants for drawing the foodie crowd.
It's a struggle at times, but I try to judge restaurants (and bands) on their own merits even when people I despise also like them. If it's good, it's good. That is practically a Chowhound tenet: studied disregard for the opinions of novelty-chasers and professional critics.
Mercifully, the foodies can always be counted on to abandon last week's It Place for the next new-new thing. Hopefully something will distract them from Toro soon, giving Oringer a reason bring his wine prices in line with his menu, and opening up some seats for diners there for the food, not the scene.