Ed Levine Ponders the Stars

The city can breathe a sigh of relief: Ed Levine will review restaurants on Serious Eats. Because, you know, there weren’t enough critics already. Actually, “Easy” Ed is an ideal critic: His unpretentious palate is, among the entire food-media corps, the easiest one for everyday readers to empathize with. In his debut essay on the matter, he wonders whether to have a star system. Or is there a better way, such as the letter grades a colleague of his suggested?

As soon as he raises the question, Levine confuses it, by pointing out that an “A+” hot dog is as good in its way as an “A+” meal at a great restaurant. Don’t even go there, Ed! That way leads to the endless debate over reach and grasp, about how much food matters, and a bunch of other curmudgeonly questions that surely only the bookish and the indolent debate. Here’s our solution: Get a star system like ours, in which Underground Gourmet stars exist on a different octave than Adam Platt stars. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of angry “fancy-pants” chefs out there, to use a Levine-ism. And not a few readers, too.

In Search of the Perfect Food-Review Rating System [Serious Eats]