GQ’s food crank Alan Richman is the last person we thought would succumb to the charms of the kid critic, but this week he pens a lengthy feature about 12-year-old David Fishman. Grampy Richman takes him to the John Dory, sushi spot Kouzan, and finally Le Bernardin. Things we discover: The kid’s notebook is too bulky, he’s an avid knitter but isn’t good with chopsticks and doesn’t understand the rituals of eating sushi (he isn’t a fan of Kouzan and compares the food to warm mush), his formative food experience came care of his Jamaican housekeeper, and his parents are trying to convince him that there’s more to life than food writing.
Fishman’s reviews are hilariously precocious (on the John Dory: “The grilled octopus with parsley, fennel, celery, and lemon juice was so intense, I felt blown away into another world”). In fact, his write-up of Le Bernardin has a whiff of the Restaurant Girl: “My first bite was of a plump Kumamoto oyster with green apples, a taste of fish and ocean united with sour apples and earth. The fabulous flavors battled long in my mouth. The second, oyster with shiso mint, was dizzying, but my favorite was oyster in ponzu sauce.” On a more critical note, a word with Eric Ripert about the octopus: “A subtle taste of octopus and olive oil crept into my mouth, but I had hoped for more zest. It needed to be pushed to the limit.” And: “Escolar is delicate and delicious by itself, but it came with an anchovy sauce that rather bullied the fish.”