Favorite negative review?

There’s something that I love about a great bad review.

I don’t know if it’s the schadenfreude of watching a pretentious restaurant get taken down a notch or two, or maybe it helps me appreciate my favorite restaurants more, echoing my partner’s thoughts of “you have to see bad art to understand good art.”

Regardless of why, I was inspired by a couple of links that @attran99 and @NewTrial posted recently and I’ve been thinking about some of my favorites over the years:

There is of course Ruth Reichl’s amazing review of Le Cirque, which as far as I know is the holy grail (or at least one of the standard bearers) of bad reviews

When I first read Pete Wells’ review of Guy Fieri’s Time’s Square restaurant I was laughing so much it was hard to read it out loud

Another favorite of mine, although much more obscure, is Jonathan Gold’s review of the short lived Cortez

Portion control taken to extremes

Those are a few of my favorites, what are yours?


from one of our very own:

because it gave us this:


Who doesn’t enjoy a slow-moving train wreck…you can’t take your eyes off of it.
@PorkyBelly’s review of Vespertine is a work of art…in more ways than one.


That sketch might have been the best part of any review I’ve ever read. Not even exaggerating.


My favorite


Jay Rayner at The Guardian has written some great [bad] ones


Great review; really worth reading.

Frank Bruni’s reviews of Ninja


and Mr. Chow



“It’s painted a shiny, distressed dung brown. The cramped tables are set with labially pink cloths, which give it a colonic appeal and the awkward sense that you might be a suppository”


That Pete Wells piece is my all-time favorite.

Oddly, there was a Cortez in San Francisco in 2004 that had the exact same problem.

…wow. That review is brutal. Thanks, I love it!

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Holy shit. Ninja sounds awful

It is decorated in various shades of taupe, biscuit and fuck you.

A dessert of frozen chocolate mousse cigars wrapped in tuile is fine, if you overlook the elastic flap of milk skin draped over it, like something that’s fallen off a burns victim.


The Hollywood Reporter was also notably not a fan of Vespertine, describing it as “intentionally joyless”:

Or, if your tastes run to the political, a Vanity Fair food critic did not see eyeball-to-eyeball with the food or ambience at Trump Tower, per her 2016 review: Trump Grill Could Be the Worst Restaurant in America | Vanity Fair

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He’s quite Rabelaisian, isn’t he?

“If nothing else, Kahn has created a dirge you can eat.”


“Montana’s Trail House is a very bad place. Its rottenness is both inherent and cosmetic; it is culinarily insipid and morally insidious.”


this has been making the rounds so you all may have seen it, but just in case:

Instant classic. There’s some follow-up here:

That Guy Fieri piece is in my top five (relinking)