Guy Fieri has responded to a scathing New York Times review of his new restaurant, American Kitchen & Bar.
The Time Square eatery made headlines after Times critic Pete Wells wrote a harsh review of the restaurant that went viral overnight. The review was entirely in question form, with each interrogation directed at Fieri himself.
The review included lines such as: "Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn't come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air? "
Guy Fieri appeared on the Today Show on Thursday morning to respond to those panning his latest New York City restaurant. Fieri, who has gone from a contestant on "Next Food Network Star" to the 10th highest-paid chef in the country, thought Wells' review went too far.
"I just thought it was ridiculous," Fieri said. "I mean, I've read reviews. There's good and there's bad in the restaurant business, but that, to me, went so overboard it really seemed like there was another agenda."
The Food Network chef particularly took issue with the fact that his 500-seat restaurant was reviewed so harshly by "The New York Times" just a few months into its run.
"This is an ever-changing, ever-evolving process. You get new guys in, some guys out. You got different timings that go on. Do we do it perfect? No. Are we striving to do it perfect? Yes."
As Entertainment Weekly notes, Wells was not alone in his assessment of Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. On Thursday morning, the eatery had an average rating of just 2.5 stars on Yelp, while only 37 percent of Urban Spoon reviewers "liked" the restaurant.
"At this point in time, at two months, not really expecting to [impress people]. We're trying to. We're trying as hard as we can to make it right, to do it right. ... I think those will change. It's two months now. Let's see where we are in six months."
Other New York restaurant reviews were nearly as harsh. Steve Cuozzo of "The New York Post" called it a "West 44th Street punch line," while Joshua David Stein of "The New York Observer" argued the place should be "indicted for crimes against humanity."
But Fieri stood by his food, insisting that the restaurant's issues have been blown out of proportion.
"To me, it's impossible to come in and have a dining experience and have every single thing wrong, unless you come in with a different agenda, and you want to sensationalize something , and you want to blow it out of the water."
"It's a great way to make a name for yourself," the Food Network chef concluded. "Go after a celebrity chef that's not a New Yorker that's doing a big concept in his second month."
To watch the full video of Guy Fieri's response to the New York Times review, click below.