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Review Preview: The Standard Grill

Record to date: 10–5

This week, The Standard Grill is the target of substitute critic Pete Wells’s poisoned pen. At least, we assume it’s poisoned. The last two weeks, Wells has brutalized Gus & Gabriel Gastropub and Hotel Griffou with zero-star reviews.

By the way, we’re not insinuating that those reviews were unfair. We haven’t been to either restaurant, and are in no position to disagree. It’s just unusual to see consecutive zeroes at the Times, and it underscores the uncertainty of this critic interregnum: Wells marches to his own beat.

We’ll assume, as we did last week, that Wells is going to give out at least one star. Would he give two? That’s what Adam Platt did, though the food accounted for only one of those stars—the scene, the other. Is Wells a sceney guy? Heaven knows.

We haven’t been to the Standard Grill, but nothing we’ve read suggests it’s destination cuisine, our standard for two stars. We’ll therefore hold our breath and bet on one star for the Standard Grill.

Reader Comments (2)

Pete Wells has impressed me more with his three interregnum reviews than did Bruni in his years of nonsensical fluff. I wait patiently for your opinion of his latest, but it seems to me to be a solid one-star review. Nothing confusing or irrelevant.

Perhaps Mr. Wells should remain as the Times food critic; after all, having a professional doing the job might be interesting!

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteriamnotachef

Thanks for the comment. I agree that his reviews the last several weeks have been very good. As noted in my Review Recap, I was dismayed by his off-key takedown of SHO Shaun Hergatt in Dining Briefs. Some guys are meant to review only casual restaurants. Frank Bruni was clearly in that category, and Wells could be too. We won’t find out, as he’s only a fill-in before Sam Sifton takes over in October.

September 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterMarc Shepherd

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