Pete Wells did not enjoy his visits to Flavor Town. This week, the critic files a zero-star slam of Guy Fieri's 500-seat Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. His review is written as a series of questions for Mr. Fieri:
Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television's answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles? When you cruise around the country for your show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it?Do take a few minutes to read the whole thing. Wells gives the restaurant a "Poor" rating. [NYT]
Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar?
How, for example, did Rhode Island's supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari — dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers — end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice?
Michael Kaminer gives three stars to Rosemary's in the West Village: "Veggie dishes here deserve star billing and at three for $12, they're an eminently reasonable treat. Crunchy Beets get swanky support from toasted macadamia nuts. Exemplary Eggplant Caponata shouts for the rafters with red onion, cherry tomato, pine nuts and currants. The savory-sweet fusion's almost dizzying." [NYDN]
Jay Cheshes is impressed by Korean newcomer Gaonnuri: "Located on the 39th floor of a Koreatown tower, the sleek space offers some amazing sights of a twinkling skyline—newly appreciated post-Sandy—through its wraparound windows. But the cooking, it turns out, is spectacular too. The Korean classics are among the best in the city, and, refreshingly, at not much more than sea-level prices." Cheshes gives the restaurant four stars out of five. [TONY]
Tejal Rao thinks the hits outnumber the misses at M. Wells Dinette in Long Island City: "At M. Wells Dinette, the offal doesn't appear as a dare-you fetish. It stars in rustic, respectable dishes done right, like the warm tongue salad with cornichons in a creamy tarragon dressing, perhaps with some of the membrane left untrimmed. Or that blood pudding ($13), dark and rich as chocolate ganache, on a cushion of bacon and onions." [VV]
Adam Platt is not blown away by Gaonnuri:: "The marinated-chicken barbecue tasted less marinated than dry and overcooked, and unlike the steamed bossam, our barbecued pork belly was devoid of any authentic porky taste. So stick to the old red-meat classics, like the tender, charred chunks of short rib marinated in 'signature sauce,' the different cuts of brisket, and the pink, carefully sliced rib eye..." The critic awards just one star. [NYM/GS]
Ryan Sutton awards two and a half stars to Maison Premiere in Williamsburg: "Fine leek and potato soup ($16) is gilded with a few butter-poached oysters; the hot Vichyssoise becomes sublime with truffles, added sometimes generously, sometimes not. There are oddly satisfying surf-and-turfs: octopus and pig's head terrine ($16), sea scallops with foie gras mousse ($17). Best of all are langoustines with sweetbreads ($18), both heady elements sharing the same silky texture." Sutton also offers an inside tip: "No need to try the tasting menu." [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Amelia Lester of Tables for Two digs the unusual gastropub fare at The Toucan and the Lion, Robert Sietsema recommends the tamales and pozoles at Sabor a Mexico in the East Village, Gael Greene likes many of the dishes at Barrio 47, and Ligaya Mishan thinks that Ganso is a work in progress.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives an A minus to Lulu & Po, Eat Big Apple recommends the bone marrow brisket burger at Swine, The Pink Pig likes Angelo Romano's eclectic cuisine at The Pines, the Food Doc visits M. Wells Dinette, the Immaculate Infatuation boys file a rave of Russ & Daughters, NYC Foodie is blown away by Neta, Chekmark Eats samples the vegan ice cream at Lula's Sweet Apothecary, and NY Journal thinks that Center Bar is a good choice for drinks and snacks.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]