A New Voice For The New York Times’ Restaurant Reviews…

Posted on Posted in Beer and food, New York Times, Sam Sifton

So former culture editor Sam Sifton has posted his first review (registration required) after replacing Frank Bruni as the NYT’s new restaurant critic and it’s a curious offering. Sitting down at DBGB, a new Daniel Boulud offering that focuses on sausages and beer, it’s not entirely your typical upscale forum. Putting aside Sifton’s writing style (which is a lighter fare than Bruni’s, but perhaps with too many exclamation points/parentheses/and asides — excepting my irony here), the most curious part is the use and absence of beer in the review.

Sifton notes that Boulud’s place, whose name is a play on the nearby and now defunct rock club CBGB, has a focus on beer and the great photo accompanying the cover page demonstrates this, with a smiling bartender pouring a brooding pint. But the role of beer is generally absent from the article itself. One thing that is positive is Sifton’s suggestions in the informational sidebar regarding the beer selection, and this also works as a demonstration on how the NYT’s review template should be expanded from its outdated structure to include cocktails and craft beers:

WINE LIST Totally acceptable selection, but much better to experiment among the 23 beers on tap and large selection of bottled beers that have traveled here from Britain, from Brooklyn, from Germany, from France.

A good start and I look forward to seeing how Sifton handles beer in future columns.

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