Tickets went fast for restaurant critic and food editor Ruth Reichl's June 2 engagement at the Central Library.
Organizers of the $100-per-plate "Lunch for Libraries: Relish With Ruth," a Madison Public Library Foundation fundraiser, are selling additional tickets for the luncheon in an overflow room where guests will watch Reichl speak on a closed-circuit broadcast.
Two hundred tickets were sold for the main room, and there are 60 left of the 90 available for the overflow area.
Those in the neighboring room will also eat a lunch catered by Heritage Tavern's Fox Heritage Farms, and get to attend the opening reception. Additionally, those in the overflow room will receive a signed copy of Reichl's most recent book, her 2014 novel "Delicious!"
For ticket information, visit mplfoundation.org/events/view/lunch-for-libraries.
The night of June 2, Reichl will speak and read at a free public program at 7:30 p.m. in Central Library's Community Room.
In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal running May 31, Reichl said that nothing in her decades of critiquing for the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times softened the blow of the first review of "Delicious!"
Not only was it the nastiest take-down of anything she'd ever written, Reichl said it was the worst review she'd ever read. And it ran in the New York Times the day before her book was published.
"It was devastatingly bad. I've never read a worse review of anything," she said.
The New York Times later ran a glowing Sunday review of "Delicious!," but to have the negative review come out just before publication was crushing, said Reichl, who remembers her best-selling 1998 memoir "Tender at the Bone" also getting panned.
That early review in Publishers Weekly basically said, "Who told this woman her life was interesting?" Reichl recalled.
While reading hurtful reviews of her own work, she had to remind herself of what she had long told others: It's just one person's opinion.
Reichl said that as a restaurant critic who sometimes had to write unfavorable reviews, she tried to remind people that she "was not superhuman" or smarter than they were. "It's not like you're right or wrong. There (is) no right and wrong in matters of taste."
But as a critic, you have to be honest, she said, "and you have to write negative reviews or you are useless as a critic."