New York Times food critic Pete Wells doesn’t seem to be a fan of some Food Network stars opening their own brick and mortar shops.
Almost two years ago, there was his scathing review, composed entirely of questions, aimed at Guy Fieri’s Times Square haunt Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. That critique infamously went viral.
And while his latest review for Giada De Laurentiis’ new Vegas restaurant, titled "You Don't Need to Tell Them Giada Sent You," won't make you cringe like Fieri's, Wells has some great lines that make it clear the chef isn’t serving up any Italian cuisine worthy of her heritage.
Aside from the in-your-face-- and often ironic-- representations of Giada herself throughout the restaurant, Wells goes on to pan the lackluster food.
"All of it is in a relaxed, approachable California-Italian mode, and none of it is very hard to leave on the plate," he writes. "Sold as 'Giada’s signature dish,' the chicken cacciatore for two ($55) was a puzzle whose pieces didn’t fit."
He described the margherita pizzette as soft as a Parker House roll, covered with mozzarella that had the pale-yellow color and elusive flavor of processed cheese."
His finale brings the point home.
“In May, two weeks before Giada was scheduled to serve its first meal, Ms. De Laurentiis fired her executive chef,” writes the critic.
“She has been looking for a permanent replacement ever since, but the restaurant stays open. The ideal candidate should have experience with pizza and pasta.”
While De Laurentiis has made a name for herself as one of Food Network’s brightest stars, she admitted to FoxNews.com that opening a restaurant came with a new set of unforeseen challenges.
"It was hard for me to find someone that could kind of take my vision and execute it," De Laurentiis said. "So we switched executive chefs and now I'm extremely happy with who I have."
Despite the challenges, she said "It's all a learning experience, especially since it's my first restaurant, and I've had a lot to learn.”
Giada opened at the new boutique hotel The Cromwell in June.