The Post's Steve Cuozzo's expose on America's food critics is a drop the fork must read now piece | Bob's Blitz

The Post's Steve Cuozzo's expose on America's food critics is a drop the fork must read now piece

Two months ago of New York Post restaurant critic Steve Cuozzo, we wrote:

The NY Post's Kyle Smith, to us, is exactly the same as his NYP colleague Steve Cuozzo -- we may not see 99.9% of the items he reviews but...he is such a great writer that every piece is must read.

Well, Steve took that line to heart. Yesterday's Food critics are out of touch with what people really eat is that take.

Lost in taste

Making my rounds, and reading my esteemed competitors, I’m struck that The New York Times’ Pete Wells, New York magazine’s Adam Platt,’s Ryan Sutton and myself, among many others, inhabit a different planet than the one where normal people eat.

Reviewers answer to an ambiguous calling. Are we here to entertain readers with our presumed wit? Or to serve as consumer guides? Or judge food as if it were fine art, as we often seem to regard precious presentations at tiny, quirky Japanese, Thai and Korean places? (Some who celebrate the eclipse of “fine dining” by the more “casual” shtick fail to see irony in the eating elite’s drooling embrace of establishments with $200-a-head prix fixe.)


The notorious bone-in burger is among numerous offbeat items at M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City. Among those who reviewed it, Serious Eats editor Max Falkowitz had the balls to state, “Much of the menu makes no [bleeping] sense.”

Meantime, in the 14 months when funky M. Wells has hogged the spotlight, scarcely a word’s been written about five big, new, mainstream-menu Manhattan steakhouses, each with many more seats than M. Wells’ mere 70.


We critics love to unleash our poisonous wit on hapless fiascos like Texas de Brazil, which I recently napalmed. It amused lots of readers. But would the dining millions be better served had Rao and I written about steak joints actually worth their time and money?


But while they say that you can indict a ham sandwich in New York, we’re not supposed to enjoy eating one unless it’s made with pork from a remote corner of Andalusia, served on gnarled “artisanal” sourdough and spread with ramp mustard from Brooklyn.

And if you must ask what ramps are, I’ve made my case.

Steve does make our case. Now the question is -- will Cuozzo get back in touch with what people really want to eat. (Oh, and by the way, The steakhouse’s Bone In Burger is comprised of brisket and dry aged prime round. And it is the dumbest thing we've ever seen.)

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