Michael Bauer dropped his negative review of Jeremiah Tower's new gig at NYC's Tavern on the Green more than six weeks ago, but apparently Tower can no longer contain his rage at the Chronicle's uber-powerful critic. In a post on Facebook first caught by SFist, Tower has called Bauer to the mat:
Further down in the comments, Tower adds that "no one in NYC has the faintest clue who [Bauer] is." Yowch.
The return to the spotlight hasn't been an easy one for 72-year-old Tower, the groundbreaking Chez Panisse and Stars chef who decided to come out of a nearly two-decade retirement to take on the massive, troubled Tavern on the Green, which had been foundering since its revival last year. Though Tower didn't get the same critical drubbing as opening chef Katy Sparks, the reviews have still not been kind, with the New York Times' Pete Wells bemoaning his poor execution. "The braised short rib was dry, the filet mignon was tough, and the pork shoulder, rolled round a mix of mozzarella, pesto and prosciutto, was nearly raw inside," said Wells of a recent meal, though he adds that "you can't help but hope Jeremiah Tower will rescue Tavern on the Green."
While Bauer's review also takes issue with Tower's food, including "sludgy" risotto and "boring" desserts, he seems to have just as much hope for Tower as Wells does: "In his day Tower was unarguably one of the best chefs in the country. And while my dinner didn't necessarily show it, there were glimmers of what might be...While the food wasn't great — and Tower wasn't in the kitchen — it was good enough when judged against other tourist restaurants. I'm rooting for him."
To be fair, at least one likely source of Tower's frustration is that Bauer, whose purview is Bay Area restaurants, went out of his way to review a restaurant in New York simply because Tower was there. He also probably didn't get any points for describing both Tower and Tavern on the Green as "warhorses." With Richie Nakano also publicly slamming Bauer after a bad review in recent weeks, could this be the opening of the floodgates for Bauer haterade from prominent chefs?