New York Times food critic Pete Wells gave Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant quite the lashing in his column this week and now Fieri is fighting back. The popular Food Network star sat down with Savannah Guthrie on the ‘Today’ show this morning to address his harshest critic to date saying that it was “ridiculous. I mean, I’ve read reviews – there’s good and there’s bad in the restaurant business, but that to me went so overboard, it really seemed like there was another agenda.”
Of the many sarcastic questions posed to Fieri in Well’s review, including:
“When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WECOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?’
“And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”
Wells also suggested that Fieri had perhaps never stepped foot in his own restaurant to which Fierei replied that he is hands-on as both a chef and manager and has trained the staff and created the menu at all 11 of his restaurants. “This is more heart and soul. This is not just a name stamp,” he said.
Guthrie was quick to point out that Wells is not the only one less than thrilled with the new eatery, reminding Fieri that after over 50 reviews his restaurant only has a 2.5 star rating on Yelp. Fieri seemed to believe that the low rating had more to do with the newness of the restaurant than any issues with the menu or service.
“To me it’s impossible to have a dining experience and have every single thing wrong – – unless you come in with a different agenda and you want to sensationalize something and you want to blow it out of the water. It’s a great way to make a name for yourself! Go after a celebrity chef that’s not a New Yorker,” he told Guthrie.
Fieri did admit that he was still fine tuning the restaurant saying: “Is it perfect right now? No. …Let’s see where we are in six months.”