Food Critics Are Worthless

Drew Magary · 05/24/12 06:20PM

For some reason, I decided to torture myself the other day by reading Pete Wells' four-star review of Le Bernardin in the New York Times. The Times sent Wells there to reaffirm that Le Bernardin is a really good place to eat and — SURPRISE! — it still is. Not that you'll ever be able to afford to eat there. There are only three people who can afford to eat at a place like Le Bernardin: Rich assholes, food critics, and other chefs who run other restaurants that only serve rich assholes, food critics, and other chefs. Here is a glimpse of Wells eating like a goddamn king:

cityfile · 11/24/09 05:50PM

• The Breslin at the Ace Hotel has started serving dinner. [TONY]
Marcus Samuelsson is cooking up the state dinner in DC tonight. The mostly vegetarian menu features curry, herbs from the White House garden. [AP]
• A few recommendations on where to eat out on Thanksgiving Day. [TONY]
• Murray's Cheese is expanding thanks a deal with a grocery chain. [NYT]
• There's a bit more Tavern on the Green drama today. [NYT]
• Alan Richman dragged Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert to Costco to go shopping. Ripert was horrified by the store, but pleasantly surprised with the food. [GQ]
• The tuna your local sushi spot is serving you may not be tuna. [Gothamist]

Eating & Drinking: Thursday Edition

cityfile · 10/08/09 05:02PM

• Following a brief makeover, Café Boulud has reopened its doors. [W&D]
Donatella Arpaia's Mia Dona, however, is now closed for renovations. [GS]
• Despite the recession, food festivals remain a hot ticket. [WSJ]
• High-end sushi, however, is totally over. Make a note of it. [GS]
Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin has jumped on the wine club bandwagon. [Eater]
• Incoming Times food critic Sam Sifton has an uphill battle ahead of him, clearly. He was immediately spotted when he walked into Daniel last week. [P6]

Eating & Drinking: Monday Edition

cityfile · 10/05/09 05:17PM

• The new edition of the Michelin Guide is out and five spots earn a coveted three stars: Per Se, Masa, Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, and Daniel. [GS]
• Café Boulud reopens this Wednesday following a month-long refresh. [TONY]
• A roundup of restaurants opening in the next week or so. [TONY]
• Carnival, the amusement park/nightclub owned by (and located above) Bowlmor Lanes, soft opened this weekend. The grand opening this coming weekend will be hosted by none other than Paris Hilton. [NYP]
• A look back at Gourmet, which is shutting down after 68 years. [Gawker]
• Another sign o' the times: McDonald's is opening inside the Louvre. [NYDN]

Eating & Drinking: Monday Edition

cityfile · 07/20/09 03:34PM

• A round up of eateries that recently opened, or will open this week. [Eater]
• Una Pizza Napoletana has closed its doors. It will become the first Manhattan outpost of the Williamsburg pizzeria Motorino in a few weeks. [NYT]
• Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert was tasked with cooking (beef, not fish) for French president Nicolas Sarkozy during his recent visit to New York. [P6]
• How to establish yourself as a regular at the restaurant of your choice. [GS]
• Summer "food crawls" through the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. [NYDN]
• Not only is Padma Lakshmi is discussions to star in a NBC sitcom, but Mario Batali is joining the cast of Bitter Feast, a "darkly comic thriller." [Variety, GS]
• An extended interview with Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson. [ObsesedTV]

Eating & Drinking: Friday Edition

cityfile · 05/08/09 03:51PM

Sam Mason's Tailor in Soho has filed for bankruptcy protection. [Crain's]
• More on how the downturn is hurting NYC's pricier places: Sirio Maccioni says his Las Vegas outpost keeps Le Cirque in NYC alive; Le Bernardin has yet to renew its lease; and rumor has it Chanterelle is seeking investors. [NYM]
• The silver lining: restaurant rents are down substantially, which may explain why there's been a spike in applications for restaurant permits. [AMNY, NYO]
• Larry Poston (Waverly Inn, Pastis) has teamed up with Johnny Swet (Balthazar, Freeman's) to take over the former Marylou's space. [P6]

How to Snag a Last-Minute Restaurant Reservation

cityfile · 01/22/09 09:14AM

We have no idea if this works, but you're walking down 57th Street today and have nothing better to do, feel free to give it a try and report back. "Want a impossible Babbo, Le Bernardin or a Waverly Inn resy last min (or any rest)? Easy and free... Go to the Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street. Pick up a house phone ask to be connected to restaurant of choice. When restaurant picks up tell them you are calling from the Four Seasons Hotel for Mr "YOURSELF" and need a reservation for 2 or 4 or whatever. Tell the host at the restaurant that dinner will be quick for you have a art gallery show to attend which you can look up on www.artinfo.com. Has worked every time!" [Eater]

Last Bastion of New York High Culture Falls to Reality Show

Richard Lawson · 08/20/08 10:18AM

Top Chef, Bravo's supposedly "upscale" cooking competition show that is really about three or four food snobs berating 15 or so drunken egomaniacs for an hour, is filming, tonight!, at hoity-toity midtown restaurant Le Bernardin. The gourmet seafood restaurant-three Michelin stars! 20th best restaurant in the country!-has lent out its own top chef, Eric Ripert, as a guest judge to the show in years past, but this will be the first time the cameras have entered the hallowed eatery's inner sanctum. See you in hell, refined elegance! I mean the restaurant has a jacket-required dress code, for God's sake. Their tasting menu is $220 a head (with wine pairings)! It's one of those storied haunts that needs only to quietly go about its gourmet way to drum up praise and customers. But now, like Faye Dunaway and now Vogue before it, Le Bernardin is bowing down to the reality gods in search of, well, that hideous term "relevance." While this evening's reserved patrons won't actually be served by the blotto, under-the-bus-throwing, vain yet desperate contestants, they still have to sign waivers (to be faxed over!) and deal with camera crews and all that reality jazz. CUSTOMER 1: I do say, Harold, there seems to be a lapel mic in my Kindai Maguro. CUSTOMER 2: Oh Evelyn, do shut your face.