The Other Critics

Coed Critic Finds Colicchio & Sons Grotesque, Foolish, and Absurd

Photo: Courtesy of Bravo

Colicchio & Sons may be riding the high of its Times review, but a Columbia University student who writes about restaurants for the Spectator isn’t having it. One Jason Bell has penned an indictment of the restaurant so scathing that we’re thinking he’ll probably get an internship with Steve Cuozzo. Sample line: “Tragically, Colicchio placidly pushes out overpriced, grotesque food that merely embarasses [sic] the admittedly inflated ‘Top Chef’ name.” Bell’s complaints are very specific. Like Platt, he finds the gnocchi a bit gummy, and goes a step further: “A grittiness on the palate constitutes the most severe problem with this dish.” And he suspects that “Colicchio’s morels only got a brief rinse in the kitchen, leaving crunchy particles lurking to surprise unsuspecting diners.” That’s right, he’s impugning Colicchio’s morels!

Oh, but that’s just the start of it. “The entrées are where a dinner at Colicchio & Sons starts to go dangerously wrong,” Bell writes. He thinks “matching funky stomach meat with mild veal is simply foolish,” and declares the dish “a textural disaster — gooey veal fat, tough connective tissue, and leathery skin collide with slimy, chewy tripe bits. Virtually everything about this dish fails, leaving diners wondering at the sheer absurdity of it all.” To top it all off, Bell is surprised to discover that “undisputed judge of the kitchen Tom Colicchio, harsh and dismissive gastronomic arbiter Tom Colicchio, does not know how to cook French toast.” And the complaints about dessert go on from there, until Bell concludes, “most grandmothers makes better pain perdu than Colicchio.”

Amazing! Finally, Bell wonders, “how much longer Colicchio can continue this schizophrenic charade before he packs away his knives and rooster paintings for good.” Why, that little … ! We can only look at the impressive array of food Bell ordered and wonder how the hell a kid who’s paying a $19,648 tuition (plus room and board, and a meal plan he’s probably not very happy with) can afford it all? And how the hell is Bell so much pickier than the critic for the New York Times? When we were in school we were just happy when the bagels we found in the Au Bon Pain dumpster didn’t have mold on them.

Meanwhile, over at NYU, the journalism school is seeking East Village bloggers for their upcoming joint effort with the New York Times.

Chef fails to come out on top at Colicchio & Sons [Columbia Spectator]

Coed Critic Finds Colicchio & Sons Grotesque, Foolish, and Absurd