Knife chef John Tesar airs beef over DMN review, and the web is still buzzing about it

John Tesar - photo by Brittany Nunn
John Tesar – photo by Brittany Nunn

Chef John Tesar — who is is nationally acclaimed for his restaurant, Spoon Bar & Kitchen, was nominated for “Best Chef Southwestern” with the James Beard Foundation, and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” — has been a media darling for many years now. So when he opened his modern steakhouse, Knife at Hotel Palomar, in the space Central 214 once occupied, every food writer in the region flocked to the restaurant, jonesing for a nibble of the 240-day-dry-aged Niman Ranch rib-eye — including us.

Recently Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner paid a visit to the restaurant and offered her candid thoughts. Her candid thoughts came with a three-star rating, which Tesar was anything but happy about.

Tesar took to Twitter to slam Brenner’s rating, complete with colorful expletives to drive his point home. Then via Facebook, he made it publicly known that she is no longer welcome at any of his restaurants.

Ah, the drama.

This, of course, lit this Internet on fire. Not only did local publications pick up the story — Dallas Eater and the Dallas Observer — but so did national publications. The Los Angeles Times took note, Eater National ran a story, and most recently, Tesar talked with Esquire to defend his cyber-outburst.

Guide Live Eats by the Dallas Morning News has a running tab of the stories posted thus far, and it aptly points out Brenner’s brief response to Tesar’s remarks, which she told Jim Romenesko:

“I stand by my review,” Brenner says. “I worked very hard on it, it’s fair and our readers will judge it for themselves. As always, I look forward to reading their comments.”

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  • Bruce Levy

    I would remind John Tesar something Don Draper once said to Peggy when she was whining about something: “You’re good. Get Better. Stop asking for things.”