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Sam Sifton's First Year as Times Critic: A Look Back

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Today is Sam Sifton's one year anniversary as NYT food critic! What, did you think we would forget? That's right, on this day last year, Sifton dropped his very first review (after months of prep), which started with the lines "Hey ho, let's go!," and true to that promise, he's taken us on a wild culinary journey of sorts. From four-star Italian fine dining palaces, to gin bar deuces, goose egg fish shacks, celeb chef projects, and plenty of places we've never heard of and don't care to visit— you name it, Sifton was on it. Here now is a chart that shows how his ratings have skewed over the last twelve months — a similar breakdown for Frank Bruni's last year shows the same percentage of three spots, but way more one star reviews and way less two star ones. Does Sam love giving the deuce more than Frankie Two Stars? Or are there just more restaurants worthy of that rating now than there were in 2008-2009? Let's take a look.

Goose Egg
Choptank, 3/3/10
Ed's Chowder House , 12/16/09
Kenmare, 07/06/10
Le Caprice, 1/27/10
Mia Dona, 5/19/10
Nello, 4/14/10
Plein Sud, 08/24/10
Xiao Ye, 10/12/10

One Star
Aureole, 11/11/09
Balaboosta, 06/29/10
The Breslin, 1/13/10
Chin Chin , 3/24/10
Fatty Cue, 5/12/10
Faustina, 4/7/10
Fornino, 09/07/10
Imperial Palace, 10/28/09
Le Relais de Venise, 11/4/09
The Lion, 07/27/10
Madangsui, 12/9/09
Motorino, 2/17/10
Nuela, 09/14/09
Pulino's, 5/5/10
Purple Yam, 12/30/09
SD26, 12/2/09
Takashi, 06/15/10
Tanoreen, 2/24/10
Tanuki Tavern, 12/16/09
Toloache, 08/17/10
Wall & Water, 08/24/09

Two Stars
A Voce Columbus, 11/25/09
ABC Kitchen, 06/01/10
Annisa, 06/22/10
Aquavit, 07/20/10
Má Pêche, 07/13/10
Maialino, 1/20/10
The Mark, 4/28/10
Novita, 2/10/10
Recette, 3/31/10
SHO Shaun Hergatt, 4/21/10
Strip House, 3/10/10
Casa Lever, 1/6/10
Il Matto, 08/31/10
DBGB, 10/14/09
Marc Forgione, 10/05/10
Oceana, 11/18/09
Prime Meats, 05/25/10
Tamarind Tribecca, 08/03/10
Torrisi Italian Specialties, 06/08/10
Vandaag, 09/21/10

Three Stars
Colicchio & Sons, 3/17/10
La Grenouille, 12/23/09
Marea, 10/21/09

Four Stars
Del Posto, 09/28/10

Review Breakdown by Borough:
(note: Motorino was counted as a Brooklyn restaurant, even though his review was about both locations)

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