Posts Tagged: pete wells

The Perverse Secret Agenda of the Restaurant Critic

Last February, an iteration of the Olive Garden restaurant chain opened in Grand Forks, North Dakota. "The place is impressive," Marilyn Hagerty wrote in her curiously favorable review for the Grand Forks Herald. "The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous." Hagerty's review consisted almost entirely of declarative statements of fact about the restaurant's décor, the size of its menu's portions, and practical background info intended for prospective diners. Reactions to Hagerty's subdued encomium ran the gamut of cosmopolitan condescension: from delight in her earnest sincerity to heartfelt pity.

Then in November, Pete Wells, restaurant critic for the New York [...]


Pok Pok Redeemed

"As I kept dunking, my perspective underwent a Copernican shift. The sausage had seemed to be the center of the universe, but it turned out that it, and everything else on the plate, revolved around that mesmerizing naam phrik nuum. Though this sausage, a favorite in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, needed nothing more than a cold beer, I began dunking it into that chile paste. And then I’d dunk the Frito-size curls of fried pork rinds, and wedges of steamed kabocha squash, and long beans tied into knots. The paste, called naam phrik nuum, was hot but not chokingly so, and had some of the grassy sweetness [...]


Defending Manhattan From America: Pete Wells and Guy Fieri

yup. RT @samfbiddle: @max_read @mattlanger @maura also horrible things that exploit stupid people deserve to be ridiculed into destruction

— Silvia Killingsworth (@silviakillings) November 14, 2012

Last night, or in "today's paper" if that is how you roll, Times restaurant critic Pete Wells bombed Guy Fieri's new garbage hut in Times Square with a zero-star review and the Internet kind of exploded over it with glee.

This food shack does in fact sound truly terrible! I fortunately already knew that I would not need to eat there, long before the Times saw fit to inform me. Which, then, I have questions: is [...]


Happy 50th Birthday, Restaurant Criticism

"Claiborne observed everything when he was reviewing, but ultimately he judged restaurants by what came out of the kitchen. As this idea caught on, it became harder to confuse the country’s best restaurants with the ones that were merely favored by the aristocracy. A different hierarchy in dining, ordered by creativity and excellence in cuisine, was slowly taking shape under the guidance of a new aristocracy: an aristocracy of taste. Today, we call members of this aristocracy 'foodies.'” —I wish we didn't, as that word only makes me think of children's pajamas, which are distinctly unappetizing, and which I am sad to learn that they also make for adults. [...]


Restaurant Critic Mean-Spirited, Entertaining

"Mr. White has said he engineered the dough to stand up to the rigors of delivery and reheating with no loss of quality. In that, at least, he has succeeded. Warmed up a day or two later, a Nicoletta crust is just as stiff and bland as when it was fresh from the oven." —Pete Wells gets out his razor blades in his review of Michael White's new East Village pizzeria, Nicoletta. The seafood atop the insalata mista is "as tender as an extension cord," he says.