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Jan 26, 2008 05:32 AM

Miami New Times Restaurant Reviews

I have been reading the food reviews of the New York Times for a while now, and it seems to me that they are long winded and complain quite a bit. Do you think that he is just a snob, who thinks Miami food is substandard or is he right on the mark? I only ask because when I lived in New York, my husband and I really used the NY times restaurant review to decide which restaurants to try and which ones to perhaps steer clear of. I like the Miami Herald reviews (mostly) but the new times, seems WAY TOO LONG...and full of complaints.

What do you think?

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  1. Are you referring to Frank Bruni of the NY Times? I thought this article was on the mark.
    I have respect for Victoria Pesce Elliott of the Miami Herald but not Lee Klein of New Times.

    4 Replies
        1. re: johnmlinn

          I mentioned the New York Times, becasue I like Frank Bruni, however I am asking about LEE KLIEN and the other reviewers at the NEW TIMES

          1. re: Miami Foodie Girl

            You'll probably find this new blog from one of the Florida board's regular contributors of interest ->

            The long-winded school of restaurant review has been several years in development (i.e., "Let me spend four paragraphs telling you about the two weeks I spent in southwestern France before I even get around to telling you the name of the restaurant I'm going to review..."). I think publications like New Times (which often need something of substance to stick between all the advertisements) are particularly susceptible to it, given that the food writers probably have a higher word count, and less editorial supervision, available to them than in more "mainstream" newspapers.

            While these reviews could often do with a few strokes of an editor's pen (and, sometimes, a good bit more substantive knowledge on the part of the writer), I rarely will fault a reviewer for being critical, unless it seems just petty or vindictive. There was a time they were indeed called "critics" rather than "reviewers," and too often - possibly out of concern for offending a potential advertiser - I feel that restaurant reviews pull punches rather than offer meaningful criticism. This is ultimately a disservice to the reader who looks to these reviews both for what places to visit, and which to avoid.

            Plus, honest criticism will often be a help to a restaurant that has some flaws that need fixing (assuming they're paying attention). For instance, recent reviews of the inaptly named Alta Cocina in South Miami in both New Times and the Miami Herald suggest that some dishes have promise, but that the place has some fundamental front-of-house problems and that the menu has wide gulfs between the high and low points.


            Interesting that you should compare to Frank Bruni. He's often regarded as the paradigm of a long-winded writer who complains too much.