Anyone besides me thinks Pete Wells is a joke?
He is the worst restaurant/food writer ever, an embarrassment to the NYT. Bring back Sifton, or anyone else! He makes everything seem so boring, I am turned off to every place he reviews..
You're not the only one. He is terrible and has totally destroyed the NYT star system by giving 1 star to Shake Shake which he obviously dislikes and 3 stars to Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria which is absolutely not 3-star material. He is also terribly biased against fine dining establishments (Jungsik, for example, is clearly 3 stars, not 2 for people who have dined there) and likes to make disparaging remarks about non-western culinary cultures (he called Korean cusine unrefined and Chinese cuisine bland).
This guy is not to be taken seriously, what a joke.
Worst ever? Oh, come now, there's too much competition for that title.
But I think the destruction of the star system may well be deliberate. I know, uh, let's just say several restaurant critics, and all of them despise the star (or fork or whatever) system. The whole thing is too subtle to define just what differentiates a 3-star from a 4-star, or, worse, a 3 1/2- from a 4-. I generally don't look at star ratings until after I've read the text of a review piece, and it's amazing how often the two don't jibe.
It's not only the ratings, but as cheeryvisage says, it's his choices that are so awful -- and not only that, his writing is so unimaginative. How could the Times have chosen such a boringly leaden writer to speak for them about something so creative as cooking?? The place he reviewed yesterday, my god, what was that about? I think Pizza Hut may be next up..
Still waiting to be impressed. A 4 star re-review of Le Bern? No surprise there. AND, a re-review of Hill Country? I'm not convinced Hill Country needed an update. Plus, 2 stars? Pffffft.