It may not have been good enough for New York Times food critic Pete Wells, but apparently Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant -- “Guy's American Kitchen and Bar” -- was sufficient for the Times' ad sales department, which threw a 150-person event at the restaurant after Wells lambasted it in the paper.
“Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?” asked Wells in his review of the new eatery. He continued on for paragraphs with the same model of sarcastic questioning.
“Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?” mocked Wells.
The day after Wells' appraisal aired, many equated his words to a culinary pot shot — taking aim at an easy target just for the sake of doing so.
On Thursday, Fieri flew to Los Angles to appear on the “Today” show, where he defended his restaurant and called Wells' criticisms over-the-top and sensationalized.
“I just thought it was ridiculous,” said Fieri on the show. “It really seemed like there was another agenda.”
“It's a great way to make a name for yourself,” he continued. “Go after a celebrity chef, that's not a New Yorker, that's doing a big concept in his second month, big way to hit it.”
Fieri's kicker, though, was perhaps his most intriguing remark.
“And by the way,” he said, “last night, they hosted — the New York Times hosted a 160-person party at that restaurant.”
The Braiser reached out to the newspaper, which initially denied knowledge of such a fete. Later, however, the paper recontacted the Braiser and said the company's ad department did, in fact, go ahead with a preplanned event last night at Fieri's Kitchen and Grill.
If it makes Guy feel any better, Dr. Phil also stood up for him on the “Today” show, calling Wells' comments mean-spirited, self-serving, and hurtful to Fieri's hard-working employees.