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“The NoMad”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Flatiron Break the Bank Good

Pete Wells is a great restaurant critic. First off, he has a serious depth of knowledge. He’s been a food writer for over a decade. From 2009 until January 2011, he wrote a terrific column for The New York Times Magazine called “Cooking with Dexter,” about the kitchen life of a working father, and the silly, wonderful joys of teaching a kid to love food, cook food, and eat it all up.

Prior to joining The Times, he was articles editor at Details for five years. He also wrote a column, “Always Hungry,” for Food & Wine, where he worked as an editor from 1999 until 2001. The guy has received five James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards for his writing about eating and drinking. But for me, what’s best about reading his reviews is that he not only knows food, but he can write: beautifully, engagingly, hilariously, convincingly, and with thrilling detail. I am constantly pointing my food writing students to his work, and if he says go somewhere, I’m there. Gwynett Street is on the top of my list thanks to him, along with Pok Pok Ny (though I’ll probably be waiting until sometime in 2015 to brave those crowds).

Pete is also pretty honest about his experiences. Sometimes brutally so, but that’s what you need from a critic. Someone to tell it to you straight. In his review of the restaurant La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, he described the dismal state of the dining room, with its chairs draped in winter coats, as having “the elegance of a church-basement bingo game.” He concluded: “Any restaurant can get the hiccups. This one was having a full-blown seizure.”

So when he awarded Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s Eleven Madison Park follow up, The Nomad, three stars, I was on that reservation line like Rush Limbaugh on Sarah Fluke. I was on the attack, searching on Open Table for a reservation, my credit card primed for an $80 roast chicken with foie gras and truffles under its skin. Alas, I got the reservation: 7pm for a party of three: myself, a chef friend, and a restaurant industry veteran. The three of us were primed for wonder. Unfortunately for us, Pete's three star experience was not to be repeated on ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Flatiron :
+ Suenos   + Amuse-- Closed   + Dos Caminos   + Lucy-- Closed   + Gramercy Taver   + Veritas   + Fleur De Sel   + Bolo -- CLosed   + City Bakery   + Shake Shack   + Kalustyan's Cafe   + Devi   + BLT Fish   + Sugarcane   + BLT Prime   + Barca 18-- CLOSED   + Beppe   + Barbounia   + Boqueria   + Eleven Madison   + Lonesome Dove-- CLOSED   + Hill Country   + Olana   + Wildwood   + Primehouse   + Allegretti   + Bar Breton   + Aldea   + SD26 by Bao Ong   + ABC Kitchen   + Ciano   + The NoMad   

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