The discussion of Sara Moulton got me thinking, why aren't there any good television shows about restaurants (as opposed to cooking)? The Food Network used to have Dining Around, a magazine format show which visited a variety of more upscale places. I thought this was a fairly interesting show which included commentary (and occasional criticism) along with visits to the site, but alas, it was taken off the air.
The only thing they have now is the horrid "Best Of," in which dim-witted hosts visit uninteresting sites ("today, we'll take you to a spaced-out taco stand with a Star Trek theme"). They look on with great admiration as the chef prepares a signature dish, taste it and say "wow, this is great, back to you Jill." In addition, the show seems to disproportionately cover places in Philly and Baltimore, where I'm assuming the hosts or writers must live.
Thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a great television show covering restaurants (either info. or criticism). The closest I remeber is the old PBS "Great Chefs" series from the '80s which was really a cooking show, but gave some history and perspective on the restaurant being featured. I'd like to see a "Siskel and Ebert-style" show on restaurants with info and real criticism. Anyone else know of/remember any good restaurant shows?
Maybe some Food Network or PBS producer who reads the boards will start a Chowhounding show, seeking out the best in obscure places. Now that would be worth watching. (Starring, of course, Jim Leff and a cast of thousands).