Is Pete Wells Systematically Destroying The Times's Favorite Food Spots?

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Even though it's not a full review, you can tell from the tone of New York Times food critic Pete Wells's latest blog post that he doesn't mind writing a scathing thing or two about the restaurants his predecessor fawned over. Wells went to Roberta's, former Times food critic Sam Sifton's favorite Bushwick outpost for the culinary arts, for dinner recently and he did not have a fun time. To be totally fair, it does sound like Pete had a pretty nasty meal. And the service! "Once I had tuned into that sulfur smell I couldn’t tune it out again," Wells wrote. "I pushed the plate farther and farther away until finally it sat in the middle of the table.I didn’t want a replacement -- by that time I’d lost my appetite. I just wanted the dish to go away so it wouldn’t affect the people around me. But again, there was no circle-back."

No circle-back?! What could be worse than no circle-back at the nicest pizza place in New York City's hippest borough? Apparently, the hippest burger joint in New York City's swankiest borough: Shake Shack. We're being snotty. But just over a week ago, Wells disappointed Shake Shack's super enthusiastic base with the headline, "The Burger Remains a Work in Progress." The review itself was inconclusive, at best. We'll still gleefully eat Roberta's pizza and Shake Shack's burgers, but we're a little bit worried about Wells's next target. Will it be the newly anointed Three-Star -- according to both The New York Times and Michelin -- establishment Chef's Table in Brooklyn? Depends on the circle-back technique…

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.