UPDATE: Surrounded by dishes from his restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, Guy Fieri sat down with the Today Show's Savannah Guthrie one day after New York Times critic Pete Wells slammed his food in a sarcastic, brutal review.
"I just thought it was ridiculous," Fieri said of Wells' piece, and posited that Wells might have "sensationalized" his piece for selfish reasons.
When Guthrie pressed the chef on the actual quality of his food, and Yelp reviews that give his restaurant an average of two-and-a-half out of five stars, Fieri conceded: "Is it perfect right now? No. Are we striving for it? Yeah."
Every once in a while a critic goes above and beyond the call of duty, foregoing his or her customary detachment for more impassioned responses typically reserved for the general public -- See A.O. Scott's thoughts on "Good Luck Chuck" or Dan Kois' breathless take on "Babies."
No one expected rave reviews for Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, a new Times Square restaurant from Guy Fieri, the blond-tipped, ruddy-faced host of the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." But critic Pete Wells had such a terrible experience, he slammed Fieri in a gleefully contemptuous restaurant review for The New York Times, giving the restaurant no stars and a "Poor" rating.
Besides calling the atmosphere a "chaotic mess," and most of the food "inedible," Wells ends each sentence of his piece with a scathing, sarcastic question for Fieri, wondering if the celebrity chef had even been inside his own restaurant. Here's a sampling of his most exuberant takedowns:
Would love to see NYT write up an Apple store as if it were Guy Fieri's restaurant, showing its acolytes the same condescension. #BuyNLarge— Anil Dash (@anildash) November 14, 2012
But was Wells' review unnecessarily harsh, or even condescending? The Awl's Choire Sicha wonders if the Fieri roast is emblematic of a New York Times-ian brand of snobbery that turns up its nose at any "Garbage USA incursion into Manhattan." He points to a tweet by blogger Anil Dash:
[Read the full review at the New York Times]