Today, Eddie Huang begs to differ with a review of Xiao Ye in Time Out (or as he calls it, “The Magazine for Murray Hill Tourists”) that calls him “a cocky pretender to the David Chang throne” and “a sort of gastronomic Dennis the Menace,” and points out “how much the generic duroc-pork pot stickers ($8 an order) resemble the Chinatown classics, sold five for a dollar a few blocks away.” Huang asks, “Is this city too small for three Asian People? Chang, Huang, Pelaccio? LOL,” and writes, “The fact that you compared zha jiang mien to dan dan mien shows you know ZERO about Chinese food.” It goes on from there. Meanwhile, another punk-rock (or at least, faux-hawked) chef Marc Forgione can now kiss and make up with the New York Times. Sam Sifton’s review of Marc Forgione is out, and in Diner’s Journal, the critic acknowledges the time one of his colleagues famously shushed Forgione in his own kitchen.
For the record: I am friendly with Mr. Lieber — to me, he’s Ron from BizDay, married to my colleague Jodi Kantor; they eat out a lot and are a valuable source of restaurant intelligence as a result. I don’t know Mr. Forgione from his father or their postman, and though I know he’s on television these days, still, if you cut off that fauxhawk thing on his head, I might not recognize him on the street. (I sure didn’t march into his kitchen to compare his online photograph with the analogue man.)
I’m a restaurant critic, not a Jedi of etiquette. I leave discussion of what happened that night between one angry customer and one passionate chef to you.
As for the restaurant, the “service is warm and practiced, the food about three times better than it needs to be,” which adds up to “a model neighborhood restaurant in a neighborhood that has no shortage of them.” And so it gets two stars; though it’s safe to assume the last line — “you’ll be back, American” — doesn’t apply to Ron Lieber.