Sifton to Steingarten: I’m No Brooklyn Booster


After Josh Ozersky, Sam Sifton is the next Brooklyn-based food writer to respond to Jeffrey Steingarten’s accusations of being Brooklyn-biased. Introducing tomorrow’s one-star review of Fornino Park Slope (“the sort of restaurant that will appeal mostly to those who still think of Manhattan as ‘the city,’ and who rarely cross a river to get to work”), Sifton basically calls Steingarten’s writing illogical (“he plunges deeply into opinion before soaring over fact. He flies into accusation then banks quickly past proof”) and says that searching the Times website will reveal that “we’re fans of the delicious in whatever guise and borough it comes. (Though, jiminey crickets, we could take a few more runs through the Bronx and Staten Island!).” To Sifton’s credit (?), only five Kings County restaurants (Motorino, Diner, Fatty ’Cue, Prime Meats, Purple Yam, the River Café, and Tanoreen) make the Sifty Fifty, his list of “current fifty favorite restaurants.” One Queens restaurant (Imperial Palace) makes it on.

In his New York Diet, Steingarten singled out Sifton when he said, “I’m not naming any names — but the food editor for the [Times] magazine, who is one of our best food writers, and the restaurant reviewer of the newspaper all live in Brooklyn, and they are relatively uncritical of things in Brooklyn the way that sometimes — but not often — Frank Bruni became a little uncritical about things on the Upper West Side.” On Friday, Pete Wells, the editor of the newspaper’s “Dining” section, responded to one of those accusations via Twitter: “Steingarten a little confused about where the Brooklyn Boosters are. Mag food editor lives in Village.”

Reviewing Fornino Park Slope [Diner’s Journal/NYT]