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Food Media 19

Pete Wells and the Uselessness of Star Ratings

Dave Feldman | Feb 10, 201507:38 PM

I don't think you can find many restaurant reviews in the NY Times that would make you want to leave your apartment in sub-freezing weather and hop in a subway as this: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/din...

And then Wells assigns it one star. Out of four. I've read three-star reviews of his that are less enthusiastic.

My position on this is consistent. I put little stock in Zagat ratings, Michelin ratings (especially), or critics' star ratings. And I realize that critics take into account service and ambiance (although it sure sounds like Wells received good service).

What are our values if a lack of a tablecloth or crowded table tops trumps (if this critic's own words are to be believed) the excitement of the food? Is the best Thai food in the city worth fewer stars than a middle-level French or Italian midtown expense-account place?

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