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Lots of people are coming to the defense of Michael's, the media hangout that was subjected to a bruising review by Frank Bruni in the Times last week. Caroline Bankoff of the Observer chatted with David Patrick Columbia who says he found the review "ridiculous" and thought Frank Bruni was being excessively "bitchy." Elderly gossip Liz Smith (pictured here with Michael's owner, Michael McCarty) observed that no one goes there for the food, but that she's fond of the place for the "greeting" she receives and the "physical situation," whatever that means.

(For the record, Smith says she's partial to roast chicken with French fries and "a little spinach.") Not surprisingly, Diane Clehane, who pens's "Lunch" column, has very nice things to say as well, which should insure her continued access to a table on Wednesdays: "I can say unequivocally that I've never been disappointed with a dish that's been served to me at Michael's. I have always found the food to be quite good and the overall experience is exceptional."

Stung by Bruni Slam, Regulars Defend Midtown Media Hangout Michael's [NYO]