It’s definitely not a good day to be Guy Fieri after the New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells totally ripped him apart and gave his new Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Bar and Grill, a scathing review. It may be rude to slam someone in such a public way, but there is likely some truth to what was said.
In the NY Times piece, Wells starts off with a challenge (that’s really more of an accusation) to Fieri:
GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?
In other words, have you ever been in your own restaurant and do you have a clue as to what’s being served there, or is this all just a huge marketing ploy to use your name on the door and get customers to fork over their cash for what they believe will be the Guy Fieri experience?
Wells then goes on to ask Fieri a slew of 50 pointed questions about why the food and the service at his namesake restaurant sucks.
Here’s a taste of some of the questions Wells demands answers to:
Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? 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?
What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?
Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?
Wells doesn’t have anything positive to say about the service either:
When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?
If a customer shows up with a reservation at one of your two Tex Wasabi’s outlets, and the rest of the party has already been seated, does the host say, “Why don’t you have a look around and see if you can find them?” and point in the general direction of about 200 seats?
“What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?” Wells wants to know. As do we.
If this restaurant isn’t living up to the Guy Fieri standards we have come to know and love (as outrageous as they are at times) on the Food Network, then this is likely not really his restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably owned by Feiri’s “empire,” but operated by some clueless people who thought they could simply put Guy’s name on the sign out front and advertise some of the famous recipes he’s tasted over the years. But without Fieri having a real presence there, it comes across looking like another marketing ploy in the restaurant industry. Fake. Not authentic. And disappointing.
Based on this review, it’s pretty clear that Fieri is not the one running the show here. Whether he is or isn’t, Fieri should do the responsible thing and make sure anything and everything with his name on it lives up to his standards and the brand he has created. Otherwise, it’s just another restaurant with overpriced, let-down food and sub-par service that gets a “Poor” rating from the NY Times.
Wells may be harsh in his review, but on behalf of those unsuspecting customers who ate there and were equally as disappointed, he wants to know: “Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?”
Tell us, Guy. Please.
You can read the full review here. Then tell us what you think. Was this warranted?