Good Reviews vs. Bad Reviews

My friend, who happens to be in the restaurant business, had a conversation with me this past weekend about bad reviews.  He says why write a bad review?  If you don’t like it, then don’t write about it.  We should embrace New York.  Not slam the bad.  Certainly food for thought. 

This week in New York Magazine there is an article on Jeffrey Chodorow’s new steakhouse, Kobe Club.  Adam Platt slammed it.  Basically he said, don’t go and run as far as possible.  Should he have had that review published?  My answer is a resounding yes.  He is a restaurant critic who is giving insight to his readers about new and interesting places to eat at.  Not that I had any intention of every checking out the Kobe Club (the name alone stops me in my tracks) but if I am reader of Adam Platt and generally agree with his comments then he has done me, a consumer, a big favor by giving me his honest opinion about a restaurant.

Like bloggers.  There are many food bloggers out there.  Reviewing restaurants, sharing recipes, just giving us the latest and greatest etc.  You pick your favorites because they have been right on for you.  If that particular blogger says don’t go, you won’t and has saved you from an evening of bad food.  Nothing could be worse – no?

Based on my rant today about publishing bad reviews, I feel inclined to publish one.  Ono, which is in The Hotel Gansevoort is where we went last night to celebrate Jessica’s 16th Birthday.  She really was dying to check this place out.  I have been for lunch and now twice for dinner.  Very cool architecturally.  The service is a bit lame but the food is just not good.  The seaweed salad is laden with a mayo type dressing.  The dumplings are doused in a sauce.  The small grilled sticks with the variety of sauces to dip into are just mediocre and certainly not worth the cost or two bites.  But the worst part is seriously the sushi.  Fresh and not that flavorful. Each piece has a sauce on it to supposedly enhance the flavor but the sauces, at least the ones we had, were heavy handed and thick.  Not exactly what you want on a delicate piece of raw fish.  Very expensive too.

So, for all my readers out there who have trusted me to steer them in the right direction.  Steer clear of Ono.