Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Review

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My 'Smart' Restaurant Review

English: Times Square
English: Times Square (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm saying this review cum feature story is smart because it raises the possibility a bad review might help a restaurant just as a good review by a powerful critic can ruin one. (According to Michael Bauer, a small restaurant that receives a strong review can be overwhelmed by a flood of customers it is not ready to handle.)

When I read the New York Times’ hilariously smart-mouthed review of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, I couldn’t believe that a culinary experience could be so spectacularly frightful. Was the food really as “limp” and “oil-sogged” as the critic Pete Wells claimed? Did the drinks really taste like “a combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde”? Did Fieri’s spiky, bleached hair and Pauly Shore-turned-youth pastor personality inspire so much ire in the Gray Lady’s reviewer that he could no longer separate the man from his food? Surely this place can’t be worse than your average TGI Friday’s. Or could it? I had to find out.
I wasn’t alone. Wells’s review was so popular—it’s the most read story on the Times’ website this month and it generated so much controversy that Fieri had to defend his reputation on the Today show—that the restaurant has started drawing a crowd. Of locals.

P.S. Remember I talked about how a writer might include a word that she thinks most readers won't know, flattering the handful who do and educating the mass who don't. I rather like this technique, though if  I stumble over two, three, four words I am not familiar with - no, I don't like that very much. Our lesson for today is "review cum feature story."

P.P.S. My friend Mason Monroe, who has cooked for a living at various times in his life and who cooks very well, writes to say the idea "about a rave capsizing a small place is bullshit." 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive