Letter of the Day: Informed reviews
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.
EDITOR: New York Times critic Pete Wells' review of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant smacks of a vendetta (“The ultimate question for Fieri: Why?” Nov. 15). Fieri suggested that an “agenda” was responsible, and I submit that Fieri's assessment is more credible than the review.
I was a restaurant owner/operator in Sonoma County (the Blue Heron in Duncans Mills) during which time we were reviewed twice by Press Democrat critic Jeff Cox. The first review, awarded 4 ½ stars (out of five), was better than we actually were, in my opinion. The second review (three stars), was, in my opinion, less than we deserved for various reasons. In each case we learned something because of intelligent, informed and specific reporting. The fact that I disagreed or agreed made no difference because the subjective report was honest.
Wells' review was unintelligent, almost written to be more clever than informative. Reviewing should be serious business, not a vindictive and vicious creative writing exercise.
Is it possible that there was not one positive observation to be made? Very unlikely, and to this point, the entire credibility of the review is on trial. Nothing was edible? More like nothing Wells had to say was believable.
BARRY LEE MARRIS
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