Using the bully pulpit to demote a highly-regarded restaurant is one thing, but, as the fallout from Pete Wells’s review of Daniel Boulud’s flagship proves, demoting a restaurant because of service inequalities lights all sorts of fires under many asses.
For readers and casual diners, Wells’s review championed their expectations of receiving top-flight service no matter their background, while the industry wondered why Wells hadn’t recognized the (inevitable) demise of his own anonymity. After all, they argued, restaurants do provide better service to VIPs, like it or not, and the powerful restaurant critic from the Times is the ultimate VIP. As chef and forager Jeffrey Stoneberger aptly put it, “When every captain & GM in the city give[s] out your picture as part of their training, anonymity is impossible.”
Thomas Keller Slammed Out Of Left Field By London Food Critic
Pete Wells Calls Out Daniel Boulud For ‘Coddling’ Critics At Expense Of Normal Diners
Time Out New York Critic Resigns, Still Doesn’t Reveal His Face
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