New York restaurant critic Jay Cheshes wrote his farewell column today in TimeOut New York, still remaining masked, but sad to leave. (Gael Greene, spilling the beans on Twitter minutes beforehand, hinted that he’d grown tired of the beat and wanted to write a book.)
In his long goodbye, Cheshes, who became the restaurant critic five years ago, reflected on the strange transformation New York’s dining scene had made ever since he’d started, from an expense account sinkhole into a weird hybrid of reality buzz and homegrown fervor:
In my professional eating career for TONY, though, there were many more delicious meals than disastrous ones. And in recent years, they were often in Brooklyn, where frontliners, from Fatty ’Cue to Brooklyn Fare, stoked a culinary revolution that made the borough into a world-class dining destination. Throughout the city there was a casual restaurant shift, as the pairing of ambitious dishes and a polished rock & roll aesthetic, pioneered by David Chang, went viral. We now think nothing of blowing a bundle—at places like Blanca and Ko—on effete tasting menus, while perched on stiff barstools. Meanwhile, the manias for ramen, bold food from far-off locales and hoof-to-snout dining all reached a fever pitch.
The best of New York, according to Cheshes, can be found below, as well as his final review — though not his face. Bon voyage, you damned, enigma!
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