The Reviewing Post

Sifty is no longer the restaurant critic at the NYTimes, moving across the farm paddock to hold the position of national desk editor, but he writes a last, lovely ode to the position and an ode to restaurants all over New York in this article: The Reviewing Post.

(Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

I love seeing this backstage glimpse into what the life of a restaurant critic is like – there should be an exhibit of their notes.  I love the above note to add Rockaway Taco to the Best of 2009 List, and since 2009, the NYTimes has continued it’s love affair with Rockaway Taco and this summer’s boardwalk gourmet food stands.  Not that I’m complaining :)


Excerpt below…

“All criticism is argument. Mine has been from the start that restaurants are culture, and that there is no better perch from which to examine our shared values and beliefs, behavior and attitudes, than a seat in a restaurant dining room, observing life’s pageant in the presence of food and drink.

What follows is an accounting of some of the highlights I experienced, as well as some of my favorite images and experiences at the opposite end of the scale. (Chief among those: Nello Balan spitting into the daffodils set out in front of his restaurant on Madison Avenue. So “Game of Thrones”!)”


…and his memory of a wonderful night at Frankies’ 457 which I love because like Sam, my memories at Frankies’ has much to do with the atmosphere, the garden, just the way the light comes through the windows, as it does the food:

“But the best meal I had on the job? It was in the garden of Frankies 457, on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, on a summer evening with my wife, my children and my brother. We had what everyone always has at Frankies: crostini and some romaine hearts, beets, cold rib-eye salad, cavatelli and sausage and brown butter, meatballs, braciola marinara. The kids hovered while the adults talked family over cold red wine, and a little breeze moved through the trees, and around us other people did the same.

There was bread as we needed it, water, more wine. The food was simple and elegant. The children behaved as they do when they are starving, and in love with what they are eating. Nothing was wrong. Everything was right. It would have been nice if it could have gone on forever.”


So Sam – can we expect a food-themed memoir in the future?  :)

NYTimes: Sam Sifton’s “The Reviewing Life”


~ by drywoodburstingintoflame on October 19, 2011.

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