For every new restaurant critic, there's a period of adjustment, a settling into the job. You can only imagine some of the questions that would be swirling around the mind:
"How many stars did my predecessors give these kinds of restaurants?" "Who most needs reviewing immediately?" "When can I re-review X, Y, or Z restaurant?" "By reviewing which restaurant can I do the city's diners and chefs the greatest service?" "How do I make my entrance onto the city's restaurant scene?"
So, as new critic Pete Wells is only 10 reviews in (not counting briefs), some bumpiness (along with the bump in Twitter followers) is to be expected. There was the interesting choice of Wong for a first review, the necessary visit to the splashy and precious Romera, the review of the food media darling Parm, the requisite visit to Kutsher's (a contemporary spin on Jewish food by one of the city's most well-known and vilified restaurateurs), and the playful take on Shake Shack. Sure, the three-star review of Il Buco Alimentari was somewhat curious ("Three stars?" the city asked), and you could agree to disagree about Jungsik, a perfectly well-meaning restaurant that essentially offers unadventurous high-end versions of tamed down Korean flavors.
The first nine reviews included four two-star restaurants, four one-star restaurants and one three-star restaurant. Perhaps still not enough to draw a sample set.
Pete Wells' Freshman 10
Then, this week's review turned to RedFarm, the much buzzed about new Chinese restaurant darling, "a collaboration between one of New York’s greatest Chinese chefs, Joe Ng, and one of its greatest Chinese restaurateurs, Ed Schoenfeld."