Guy Fieri was in full-on damage control mode Thursday as he hopped on a red-eye flight to be in New York City and on NBC’s “Today” in order to defend his recently opened restaurant, Guy’s American Bar and Grill.
The Times Square eatery, which opened in September, was recently on the receiving end of a brutal review by New York Times food critic Pete Wells, who wrote his entire review as a series of questions. The questions included, “And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”
The review has since gone viral online, a turn of events that can’t make Fieri happy. So he made a special appearance on “Today” to fire back at the Times critic.
“He came in with a different agenda,” Fieri told interviewer Savannah Guthrie. “It’s a great way to make a name for yourself, go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker.”
Though the California-based Fieri is not in-house at the New York establishment, he says he takes the food there very seriously.
“I stand by my food,” Fieri told “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie.
Meanwhile, the celebrity chef and host of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has also released a lengthy statement to the media, which reads in part: “I normally do not respond to reviews or critics, however, given the tone of Pete’s piece, it’s clear to me that he went into my restaurant with his mind already made up. That’s unfortunate. I take comments from patrons, fans and visitors very seriously, and if there is ever a problem with our service, we’ll fix it.”
The Fieri mocking even made it to Wednesday night’s Top Ten list on “Late Show With David Letterman.” The topic was “Top Ten Discontinued Guy Fieri Menu Items” and included such entries as “Crust-crusted crust” and “Sampler of entrees sent back to the kitchen.”