The chef of Stonegrill wrote a detailed letter to SN&R refuting KW's recent bad review. He makes some valid points but he is missing the forest for the trees. I'm sure he has read his yelp reviews, and they mostly say the same thing. He brings up that she should have eaten there more than once, and that's something that I find really hard, mostly in the context of a negative review. Sure, Frank Bruni at the NYTimes eats at a place multiple times, and for lunch and dinner, but he probably has an unlimited budget. That's not the way it is at publications like the SN&R or, say, Midtown Monthly. Even if I had the time to do that, if it's a fine-dining place I wouldn't have the money. I've had this on my mind a lot because I'm reviewing a fine-dining place for my December column and I don't think I can afford to eat there more than once but I am really dreading the prospect of not liking it and having to give it a mediocre or negative review based on one visit. There's a very good chance it will be wonderful, and it won't really matter. Food reviewing is soooooo subjective (and of course all reviewing is) so that's why star systems don't make sense to me at all. You're placing this black and white rating on an experience that has so many factors. Reviews should be enjoyable to read and entertaining, and have a clear point of view, but they can only be a guideline, not some kind of biblical pronouncement.
Hey! Look over here! Bill Burg was on Insight with Jeffrey Callison last week talking about his Southside Park book. I hear the book is really good, Beers has it.
Speaking of Beers', Queen Sheba on Broadway has this awesome Hakim "stout" (it's not really a stout-style beer, just a dark beer) that is really spicy and fresh and juicy.
AP reviewed Maalouf's (which is great, I mean great that he reviewed it and of course the food is superb). Here's a couple of definitions he busts:
We began with a bowl of hummus ($5.50), which is pureed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) mixed with tahini (sesame paste), accented with garlic and lemon juice, and topped with olive oil.
Falafel is deep-fried, hush puppy-lookin' croquettes of mashed garbanzo beans, rich with the aromas of spices.
Is there anyone left in the world besides toddlers and the extremely elderly who do not know what hummus is?