Thursday, February 09, 2012

Kutchers opens a restaurant... and I dislike the NYT review

Not every nacht is Kristelnach, as Leon Weiseltier once put it, which I take to mean: Not every thing is Antisemitism. You can oppose anti-intellectualism and superstition without being an degenerate hater of Hasidim. You can think colonialism and apartheid suck without being an Enemy of the State of Israel. And I suppose you can disdain gefilte fish on the pages of the New York Times without being a Nazi.

Still, it won't surprise you to learn, some people thought Pete Wells' review of Kutsher''s Tribeca carried a whiff of Jew-hatred. What may surprise you is that I sort of agree.

Lines I did not like:
  • It was opened in November by Zach Kutsher, whose family owns a faded Borscht Belt resort famous for stand-up shtick in the ballroom and eat-til-you-plotz meals in the dining room. REASON: Stereotype 
  • When Mr. Kutsher told an interviewer that he hoped to continue the Catskills tradition “in a really modern, fun, hip, downtown kind of way,” it sounded so unlikely, that only one explanation made any sense. The place must have been designed to fail. REASON Sure, because what could possibly be cool about Jewish stuff?
  • Strangest of all, everybody seems to be having a good time. REASON: Jews (or even non-Jews) having a good time, eating Jewish food, is strange?
  • Well, maybe not the ones who order the gefilte fish. REASON: Obviously, only a moron would like gefilte fish.
  • Kutsher’s turns all the jokes about Jewish cooking upside down. Which is to say: The food here’s not bad. And such big portions! REASON:  Stereotype 
After these (un) pleasantries Wells settled down and delivered a solid restaurant review. 

  • Search for more information about Kutchers! at

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