Restaurant Critic Roundup: Small Place, Big Ambitions

Every week, The Daily Meal rounds up restaurant reviews across America

As always, the ratings range from stars to bells to beans, but every review offers specialized insight into the food, atmosphere, and service of eateries in each city’s dining scene and the critics eating at them.

This week, The Daily Meal presents our first annual "Top Chefs Review — and Rate — America's Food Critics," where we polled dozens of the nation’s most notable chefs and restaurateurs and asked them to vote on America's best known critics (take that for a flip side). This critics' scorecard involves 20 critics, rated on a restaurant review scale of zero to four stars (four being a glowing review) based on four criteria: culinary knowledge, prose style, integrity (perceived), and likability. Even better, participants could actually critique critics and writers. So, "which critics do chefs think don’t know kimchi from kombu?" writes executive editor Arthur Bovino. You can read to find out. 

Back in the world of critics ranking the chefs, New York's Pete Wells admits to going "wobbly with happiness" for a bowl of lentils "at a quiet Indian restaurant in the East 60s called Moti Mahal Delux." 

In San Francisco, restaurant Hopscotch is hailed as "a study in contrasts." "It's a small place," critic Michael Bauer says, "but it has big ambitions." 

In Washington, D.C., "Fuego Cocina y Tequileria was born... with some serious heat in its belly," boasting "a fire" that can be seen on plates, felt in the air, and served with a warning. 

From the East Coast to the West Coast, from North to South, the weekly restaurant critic roundup is here for all of your dining out needs.

Restaurant Critic Roundup: 12/5/2012

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Devra First The Boston Globe Mistral 3 stars
Ryan Sutton Bloomberg Hearth 3 stars
Michael Kaminer The New York Daily News The Odeon  
Pete Wells The New York Times Moti Mahal Delux 2 stars
Michael Bauer The San Francisco Chronicle Hopscotch 3 bells
Candy Sagon The Washington Post Fuego Cocina y Tequileria 2 stars
William Porter The Denver Post The Universal 3 stars

Check last week's Restaurant Critic Roundup.


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Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @atylersullivan