Regarding Pete Wells on Guy Fieri


I’m sure everyone has read Pete Wells’s review of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square. It reads like a PR agency’s nightmare.

Almost everyone on the Internet has been praising Pete Wells on his straight-forwardness, his honesty, integrity and independence from paid reviews, etc. But I cannot help but wonder why would he choose Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square. It’s like going to KFC and complain about it being a fast-food restaurant chain.

Sous Vide not done right...

Can you guess what’s horribly wrong with this?

We’ve all been to that metaphorical big brassy restaurant, read the adjective-filled menu. Side question: Why do people think that ads (or menus) written in incomplete sentences connotes a coolness factor?

The Alpha Submariner. The timepiece of excellence. For people who have achieved excellence. Cast from a single block of gold. Assembled by Tibetan Zensunni Monks. Worn by people way richer than you. Because they were that dorky pimply little nerd who studied hard. While you were being cool in school. Now they want you to know. Just how rich and successful they are. Compared to you. Loser.

I digress. Reading the review, I can understand the outrage expressed in the review as I have endured the very same treatment by similar restaurants. After a while, I avoid such restaurants if I can; I am not a masochist.

While I think the review was a good read, it does come across as a little douchy and I cannot help but wonder why pick this particular restaurant to train the big guns on? For such an easy target, it feels like a cheap shot.

It is no wonder why some people are asking if there is a hidden agenda by Pete Wells.

Of course, Guy Fieri’s rather hilarious response didn’t help:

“Fieri didn’t think it was fair to visit the restaurant four times in two months. ‘That’s tough times, especially this size of a restaurant.'”
– Ann Oldenburg, USA Today, “Guy Fieri fires back at searing ‘NYT’ restaurant review.

While I make it as a rule not to visit a restaurant until it has been operating for at least 6-9 months – like I said, I’m not a masochist – I think that there should be a certain level of readiness when a restaurant opens otherwise it’s just asking for trouble.

One last thought on this: a lot of people thought Pete Wells’s review was the best they’ve ever read but I would like to bring their attention to the best restaurant review I’ve ever read and it is A. A. Gill’s review of L’Ami Louis.

It is a lot classier but has more bite.

Posted on 19th Nov 2012 in Musings


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