Colicchio & Sons: Review of a Review

by Susan on March 20, 2010

We did not eat at the same Colicchio & Sons as Sam Sifton. Not even close. We ate at the same Colicchio & Sons as Adam Platt and Jay Cheshes, where there were only a couple standout dishes – for us the Sweetbreads starter and the Cod entree – from a menu that has more bark than bite. Where the service was fine, but stiff and forced. Where the desserts were the best part, the real deal, of an otherwise forgettable dining experience at too high a price.

In bestowing three stars on Colicchio & Sons, Sifton has brought his reviewing practice into question. Awarding three stars to a restaurant that is under two months old and has otherwise been receiving middling reviews gives reason for pause. Was Sifton recognized by the staff and therefore the recipient of better food and service? Probably. Does Sifton have a soft spot for Colicchio? Likely. Does all of this taint his review? Most certainly.

Most of the scuttlebutt about Chef Tom’s newest restaurant in the old Craftsteak space has been lukewarm. Opening a new restaurant is incredibly difficult, which is why it’s often a smart move to stay away while kinks and growing pains are worked out. In the first month of being open, Colicchio & Sons went from an a la carte menu to a prix fixe and then back to a la carte. Diners complained about bad service and poorly executed dishes. There were clearly some wrinkles that needed ironing. My own dining experience a week ago was lackluster.

I won’t deny there was potential, which was one of the reasons I was willing to give Colicchio & Sons another go, especially with the a la carte menu being offered again. Then I read Sifton’s review. His glowing diatribe has had the opposite of its intended effect. Colicchio doesn’t need my patronage and support if he’s got Sifton in his corner. It’s likely that Colicchio & Sons will be much more crowded in the coming weeks than it was on the Friday night I was there, but I have a feeling the stars will quickly fade.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Daniel Posner March 20, 2010 at 7:55 am

Biased reviewers in restaurant reviews? Good practive to become wine critics!

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