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Sifton Replacement

Read that Brett Anderson at the Times-Picayune might be Sifton's replacement. If so, Anderson is Sifton redux. This review and the first few comments sum it up:

http://www.nola.com/dining-guide/inde...

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  1. Years ago he wrote for the DC City Paper and was actually pretty good.

    1. His reviews from NOLA are excellent and he has consistently understood what makes a restaurant work in that city. By comparison, Tom Fitzmorris, another well-known NO reviewer, is a blow-hard. The Times would be wise to hire Anderson...maybe he would strip down the phony Manhattan buzz restaurants that Eater shills...

      1. it's current Dining editor Pete Wells. the announcement was practically buried in today's Dining section:

        http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com...

        12 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          i have no knowledge of Pete Wells' taste in restaurants nor his wriiting ability: but the fact that he was Dining editor during the two awful years that Sifton churned out so many poorly written (and seemingly uneditted) reviews does not bode well...

          1. re: Simon

            no idea about his restaurant taste either, but here's plenty of fodder for an assessment of his general writing ability/style:
            http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/feat...

            but you're right - the fact that he edited & signed off on Sifty's reviews, many of which were painful to read, does not bode well.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Yay! I love Pete Wells -- I think he's a terrific writer. This is great news.

            2. re: Simon

              Ugh...couldn't take his "Cooking with Dexter" pieces in the NYT magazine section. Hopefully he won't be "Dining with Dexter" for his reviews...

              1. re: sibeats

                I hate you for reminding me of that - I'd blessedly forgotten all about it.

                1. re: small h

                  Oh god yes. AAAGH!

                  1. re: buttertart

                    I HATED cooking with Dexter! Hated! Hated! Hatred!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure he's a cute little kid, but I truly do not care about his food interests. I haven't been as annoyed by a dining column since Amanda Hesser forced us all to read about that godforsaken "Mr. Latte". I really miss Molly O'Neil........

                    1. re: EricMM

                      I hated the Dexter columns and I hate Bittman on food, especially his recipes. I've never missed Molly O'Neill more than I do now.

                      1. re: EricMM

                        I miss Craig Claiborne. Wrote like a demon, was very adventurous, promoted international cuisines. Everybody these days wants to reduce things to formulae (Bittman) or family fluff (Wells, Hesser - although she redeemed herself in the ENYT cookbook). Oh goodie, perhaps Dexter will dine along?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I miss Craig Claiborne.
                          ~~~~~~~
                          ditto.

                          i miss Will Grimes too.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Yes, Claiborne was wonderful, I never missed his columns.

                    2. re: sibeats

                      I hated those, too. First Bittman, now this- yech. I miss Molly O'Neill.

                2. Poor old Asimov, always the best man, never the groom. I thought he'd acquitted himself quite nicely since Sifton's departure.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: buttertart

                    Agreed, Asimov is good

                  2. Agreed with what's already been said here: 1) Why didn't Asimov get the appointment and 2) "Dining with Dexter" was JUST. SO. BAD.

                    Hard to say which was worse: "DDD" or Amanda Hesser's old "sex-and-the-cityish" column about her boyfriend. Oy.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gloriousfood

                      Yeah, i read a couple of the Dexter columns just to see what we might be in for...not good...your child ate some quinoa??? Wow, i'm so impressed. Nice use of newsprint.

                      1. re: gloriousfood

                        Asimov has filled in during enough of these transitions that I have to assume he's not been campaigning for the job. I felt his loss when he moved from $25 and Under to wine after Frank Prial retired, at which time I still lived in NYC and not on the opposite coast, because he's always been a good restaurant critic. I have a feeling he's happy where he is (and he does a good job there, too).

                      2. Wow, what a lot of curmudgeons we have! I cook every day with my now four-year-old. It's a challenge, it's never easy, it is often fun and it ensures that she will grow up understanding that food is prepared with love in a home, not in haste out of a soggy cardboard box.

                        So, for me, Cooking with Dexter was one of my favorite columns of recent years in the Times. I didn't like Sifton particularly. I thought his prose was not just purple, it was papal.

                        Pete Wells has to be a great choice, and I for one can't wait.

                        Sean

                        ps I don't know Pete Wells, and for those who have followed his blog on the subject, in which he called out restaurant shills, I think he showed his hand admirably.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: aguy239

                          Ironic then that so many Sifton reviews (i.e. The Dutch, Leopard des Artistes, etc) read like shill reports and PR-dictated Page Six items, and Wells signed off on these as Dining editor