This Food Critic Gave a Scathing Review of NYC's 'Worst Restaurant'
A food critic for Eater New York gave zero stars to Public Kitchen for what he called a “cynical selection of poorly executed greatest hits.” Unfortunately for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his New York City eatery, that happened to be one of the kinder things Ryan Sutton said of the cuisine at the hotel restaurant.
Although Sutton took time to acknowledge that Vongerichten is one of the world’s greatest chefs as well as someone who had a major hand in reinventing fine dining, he didn’t mind expressing his excruciating disappointment over the food he was served with unforgettable language and imagery.
Butternut squash potstickers are insipid blobs of sweetness. Raw tuna ($19), which takes the ethereal form of udon-like ribbons at the Jean-Georges flagship, devolves into an indistinct, underseasoned, chile-laced mash at Public; the spicy hand rolls at sushi chain Wasabi in Penn Station would be a more compelling substitute. And shrimp toast ($22) turns out to be flaccid sticks of soggy, loosely bound crustaceans. Anyone armed with a box of Gorton’s and a toaster oven could achieve more texture.
Sutton also took major issue with the poor service at the restaurant, which he said is nothing unusual for any of the Vongerichten establishments — still, Sutton found the service at Public Kitchen particularly awful.
Among New York’s fanciest French chefs, Vongerichten has never been known for particularly compelling service. But the staff at Public find a way to make the concessioners at Yankee Stadium look four-star by comparison. I tell a bartender I’m waiting to eat at the counter. “We don’t really take names,” he replies. After waiting for an hour I finally snag seats and ask for a menu. “What kind of menu?” How about a dinner menu!
Sutton’s experience only traveled downhill from there. You can read the scathing review in full here.
Vongeritchten may hold three Michelin stars at his flagship restaurant, but some of his nearly 40 establishments around the world are not faring as well. Recently, Jean-Georges' new spot in LA at the Waldorf Astoria didn't make Jonathan Gold's prestigious 101 best restaurants list and now with this absolute slam of zero stars — full of remarks about his food such as “the type of liquid one might expect to find scrapped off the side of a hot steel buffet” — it seems as though his reputation for forward-thinking fine dining may be on the decline. At least he has the culinary credibility to make a comeback — these 25 celebrities tried to break into the food world and failed.