Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Review

Friday, August 22, 2014

Last Year's 19 Most Scathing Restaurant Reviews

Tank with liquid nitrogen.
Tank with liquid nitrogen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No, tell me what you really think.

I must meet this Anna Roth of SFWeekly, whose lead makes me want to crouch in the weeds until I save up enough for the liposuction:

Michael Chiarello stands in the middle of his new Embarcadero restaurant, Coqueta, pouring liquid nitrogen into the eager hands of a group of well-dressed women at a round corner table. He's as handsome in person as he is on the Food Network, tanned and trim with closely cropped salt-and-pepper hair, and is certainly acting the part of the showman celebrity chef as he makes his flashy version of frozen sangria.
I'm sitting two feet away at a table behind him, but my view of the extravagant display is limited to Chiarello's (admittedly well-toned) backside. All through the meal, the chef returns to the same two or three tables several times — drinking punch with them out of a traditional Spanish pitcher, bringing them little treats from the kitchen, generally having what appears to be a great time — and ignores everyone else. If I'd come to bask in the glow of Chiarello's celebrity, I would have been left out in the cold. And his food here isn't much of a consolation prize.

And what does Michael Bauer of the Chron have to say?

When you see dozens of dazzling pintxos at Coqueta, stuck upright into a board with red-tipped toothpicks, you think you're in Barcelona. The flower baskets hanging from the black street lights outside the paned windows give a hint of Venice. If you look to the right, the Bay Bridge shows you're firmly ensconced in San Francisco.
Then when Michael Chiarello comes out of the kitchen in his chocolate brown chef jacket with the flag of Spain on its sleeve, you might be totally confused about Coqueta.

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