Judging by events and litigation, there are at least two ways to unmask an anonymous dining ranger:
2. Sue him.
Me, I'm shooting for the former. That's how every server in Los Angeles got to download a picture of the LA Weekly's restaurant critic -- pink Oxford, mullet and all.
No. 2 is the result of a three-line restaurant review written by the restaurant critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Here's how a restaurant named Chops is threatening to chop off the critic's anonymity, as reported by the Philadelphia Weekly:
Inquirer attorneys argued unsuccessfully in court that Craig LaBan's appearance and working methods constitute trade secrets, and therefore the restaurant critic shouldn't be forced to submit to videotaping. LaBan gave videotaped testimony without a disguise on June 5. "We would expect to use the video when the case comes to trial," says Chops restaurant's lawyer.
I'm no lawyer, but I see two possibilities:
1. The case, along with the critic's videotaped testimony, goes to trial.
2. The case – in which the restaurant claims the critic erroneously said he ate a strip steak – is settled.
Anonymity v. Credibility.
That's a much tougher choice than Barbaresco or Barolo with dinner.