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The 17 Best Reactions to Per Se's 2-Star Takedown in the New York Times

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Pete Wells thoroughly skewered Thomas Keller's New York fine-dining destination.

Daniel Krieger

The world loves a good scathing restaurant review — especially when the target of said review serves the kind of foie gras and caviar-laden meals few can afford. New York Times food critic Pete Wells demoted Thomas Keller's vaunted New York City restaurant Per Se from four to two stars yesterday, and unsurprisingly, the internet had a lot to say about it.

Echoing many of the sentiments expressed by Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton last year, Wells pronounced the lavish dining destination in the Time Warner Center "among the worst food deals in New York." Some of Wells' sharpest barbs include pronouncing a mushroom broth "as murky and appealing as bong water," renaming overcooked lobster "gristle of the sea," and comparing gratis after-dinner treats to "the swag that’s given out after a free press lunch."

The hubbub began in the comments section of the review, with readers from across the country weighing in. While a few seemed to think Keller had it coming, others were simply outraged that such expensive restaurants even exist:

NYT comment
NYT comment

Meanwhile on Twitter, the reactions ranged from glee to shock:

Many speculated on how Keller and his staff would react to the news:

There were also a few well-timed State of the Union jokes:

Others wondered what, exactly, made Per Se worthy of the two stars it retained:

And unsurprisingly, there were plenty of wisecracks referencing Wells' recent (and surprisingly favorable) review of Cancun's finest restaurant export, the spring break partier mecca Senor Frog's:

The internet explosion of feelings is almost as good as the one that followed Wells' 2012 takedown of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant — though it seems doubtful that Keller will appear on the Today Show to defend his business, as Fieri did.

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