food review reviews
In late September, chef Jamie Bissonnette stood nervous as hell at some East Village bar. “I can’t take it,” he said of opening Toro, his first New York restaurant. “We open tomorrow. It took over two years. It’s all on the line now—my life, career, everything.”
Three months later, on New Year’s Eve of all days, The New York Times’ food critic, Pete Wells, dropped a wonderful two-star review on Toro, writing, “How can a menu this big have so many excellent dishes and so few disappointments?”
To: All staffers populating the offices of The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, NBC’s News Channel 5, and The New York Times
Re: Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar
Food for Thought
What better place for The New York Times to throw a party than at Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar? And when better than on the very same day that the paper ran Pete Wells’ complete and utter take-down of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant.
How’s that for awkward?
Roberta’s, the popular Bushwick pizzeria/farm/radio station opened an exclusive 12-seat “tasting room” last summer. But just how exclusive is Blanca? It’s so exclusive that New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells and New York magazine’s Adam Platt both began their reviews this week by explaining just how very, very hard it is to get one of the 12 seats.
NYT REVIEWS REVIEWS
Chefs and restaurateurs, rejoice: a rigorous statistical analysis of the three most recent New York Times restaurant critics suggests that current critic Pete Wells is ever-so-slightly more liberal with the stars than predecessors Sam Sifton and Frank Bruni.
Looking at the three critics’ first six months on the job side-by-side, The Daily Meal’s executive editor Arthur Bovino found that Mssrs. Wells, Sifton, and Bruni all reviewed the same number of restaurants. During those heady and caloric early days, Mr. Wells gave out three more stars than Mr. Bruni and fourteen more than Mr. Sifton.
Some might say this is long overdue. Others may call it heresy. One thing is certain: Nobody quite expected the storied and lofty perch from which the chief New York Times dining critic sits, being used to evaluate a fast food restaurant. Even if that fast food restaurant is one of New York City’s most ballyhooed and fiercely debated—if not, the most of those—Shake Shack.
The New York Times Thanksgiving Help Line, once a modest live blog manned by outgoing dining critic Sam Sifton, looks like a mission control center this year.
Due to the overwhelming volume of questions, the Dining section decided to kick off a week of aid with a print Q&A and keep Read More
off the record
The smoke has cleared, and in the wake of Sam Sifton’s departure from his relatively short tenure as the New York Times dining critic, according to Politico’s Dylan Byers, dining editor Pete Wells has been named as his replacement. In the wake of his departure from the dining editor position, Susan Edgerley—a former assistant managing editor, recently moved to a position as the a special assistant to the executive editor at the paper—has been named editor of the Times dining section in Mr. Wells’ wake.
In an era in which everyone’s becoming a critic, or at least a Yelper, one would think that fewer and fewer people would care what The New York Times says about a restaurant. Ruth Reichl said as much around the time it was announced that Frank Bruni was leaving the post.
“From the time of Read More