@lesbren fuck you ! Your reviews are misleading poorly written,self serving and you have destroyed the star system and you really suck
— John Tesar (@ChefJohnTesar) July 17, 2014
Brenner has yet to publicly respond to Tesar's response, but we imagine that her editors have been high-fiving all morning over the additional pageviews this little online dust-up has provided the paper.
With the benefit of having previously interviewed both Tesar and Brenner about their individual preferences and pet-peeves, Food Republic feels compelled to offer some perspective on the various motivations heading into this now-very-public food-world spat.
In our recent May interview with Tesar, fittingly titled "10 Things I Hate," the chef listed as his No. 1 complaint: "when food critics have their own agenda — and when it seems that their agenda becomes more important than the integrity of the review." Presumably, given Tesar's "self-serving" comment on Twitter, Brenner's review has managed to strike the biggest nerve possible.
Brenner, meanwhile, spoke to us back in 2011 and mentioned several things that seem quite pertinent in retrospect. For one thing, she calls Dallas "the best city in the country for steak" — even going so far as to say "[t]he steakhouse is an art form here." Tesar's Knife, as you might know, is just that kind of place, serving ginormous cuts of meat at equally gargantuan prices. Like many critics, Brenner describes herself as "very critical" with "some pretty high standards." You can bet those standards are even higher when it comes to the city's most vaunted restaurant genre. We're talking about a perfect meat-centric storm here. That said, three out of five stars really ain't bad.
We find it telling that Brenner describes Knife as "a modern steakhouse," with scary italics adding extra emphasis. Considering the city's stellar steakhouse tradition, Brenner's comment about how the "appetizers, salads and side dishes are some of the most engaging plates" — not the steaks — probably irks Tesar like nothing else in the entire review.
Is there any hope for reconcilation? Brenner, who earlier told us she is often misunderstood, offers some hope with this quote: "I hear all the time from restaurateurs and waiters
That's an awfully long way from "you really suck." But, give it time.
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