When Agua Dulce chef Ulrich Sterling (shown here partying with Jay McInerney) snapped back at a Time Out reviewer, we wondered whether the chef’s objection to what he called “the blatant non-truths published by this junior-varsity publication” would end up hurting or helping him. With the rare exception (Joe Dobias comes to mind), chefs usually find it best to bite their tongues when it comes to critics. It’s uncertain how the general public responded to the move, but two things came of it.
First, Time Out corrected errors in the review (though it still deems the food “inauthentic”), and at least one blogger — the Gluttonness over at Always Hungry — was inspired to give the restaurant a try. While TONY found the salmon ceviche “one-note — all lime and no fire,” the Gluttonness (whoever she is) thought its “dramatic tartness” was “amplified by pickled and fresh onion.” Her last word: “TONY said ‘Pan-Latin mania may have come and gone in New York.’ I say it just went to Hell’s Kitchen, never mind the fact that with Julian Medina in Manhattan, not only is Pan-Latin cuisine not going anywhere, it’s only getting better.”