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The Pete Wells Thread


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According to Eater   Let the grumbling begin.

Even now when everybody has seen pictures of all the major reviewers, there's hope for anonymous restaurant reviewing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've enjoyed some wonderful meals in the Gramercy Tavern Dining Room. However, the last time we were there for dinner, I found the tasting menu very disappointing. Also, Uskokovic's desserts don't appeal to me at all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

From the New Yorker: Pete Wells Has His Knives Out

 

According to Patrick Farrell, Wells’s usual editor at the Times, Wells sometimes e-mails around deadline to say that he’s forgotten how to write. In moments of distress, he turns to Oblique Strategies, the pack of cards, printed with gnomic guidance for blocked artists, co-written by Brian Eno. (“Change nothing and proceed with immaculate consistency.”) Wells has also learned to avoid taste-related adjectives: his quintessential description of a plate of food is a list of ingredients coupled to an emotion. Writing about Mr. Donahue’s, in Nolita: “The chard was cooked with a little garlic and lemon and bread crumbs. The crab tasted of mayonnaise and Tabasco and had been browned and warmed inside a heavy foil dish in the shape of a crab shell. I spread it on saltines from a crinkly cellophane wrapper and ate it with the sensation of having found something I’d lost such a long time ago that I’d forgotten about it.”

 

The two-star review is generally the easiest for Wells to write. “It’s good copy, automatically,” he said. Readers will hear a voice of slightly goofy Wodehousian giddiness; the column becomes a self-portrait of someone glad to discover that—in this restaurant and, perhaps, in life—things have turned out better than expected. (In the review he’d just turned in, of Little Pepper, in Queens: “How did crinkle-cut fries get into a Sichuan restaurant? How can I be so helplessly, irretrievably crazy about them?”) Writing about a disappointing restaurant is a challenge that can sometimes be ignored. There are twenty-four thousand restaurants in the city. Although Wells, following his paper’s tradition, won’t file a review before he’s eaten somewhere at least three times, he’ll sometimes make one or two visits and then put the place aside, for reasons that are, essentially, literary. Wells mentioned Luksus, a restaurant in Greenpoint with Nordic touches, which has a Michelin star but left him a little cold. “I can’t figure out what to say about it,” he said.

We're all doomed.

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The Luksus comment is problematic both in terms of his responsibility to readers, and the effects on the business. He's not obliged to help businesses, of course, but the potential impact of ignoring one for such a bad reason ought to weigh on his conscience.

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The Luksus comment is problematic both in terms of his responsibility to readers, and the effects on the business. He's not obliged to help businesses, of course, but the potential impact of ignoring one for such a bad reason ought to weigh on his conscience.

His comment makes no sense. It seems about the easiest restaurant to say something about given that it hits every zeitgeisty point possible: hidden, tasting menu only, new Nordic, not full blown fine dining, chef pedigree, beer pairings, greenpoint, etc. if he can't find something to say about this but thinks he's found something to say about every two star nyc ital, idk.

 

One can think of reasons based on the text of he article, but then it's pretty hypocritical.

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