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Fearless Critic Seattle Restaurant Guide (Fearless Critic Restaurant Guides) Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Fearless Critic Restaurant Guides
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fearless Critic Media (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160816019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608160198
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,416,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Goldstein is an author and a travel writer. He is the coauthor of The Beer Trials and The Wine Trials. He is a contributor to the New York Times' Freakonomics blog and has written for more than 30 Fodor's travel guides. He has a certificate in cooking from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and a Wine and Spirit Education Trust certificate for advanced wine and spirits study. He lives in Oakland, California.

More About the Author

Robin Goldstein is the author of The Wine Trials, the world's bestselling guide to inexpensive wines, and is founder and editor-in-chief of the Fearless Critic series. He has lectured on wine and behavioral economics around the world, and is also a contributor to the New York Times Freakonomics blog. He has authored six books of restaurant reviews and has written for more than 30 Fodor's travel guides, from Italy to Thailand, Argentina to Hong Kong. Robin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Yale Law School, and has a certificate in cooking from the French Culinary Institute in New York and a WSET advanced wine and spirits certificate.

You can visit his blog at http://blindtaste.com.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sitting in Seattle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a foodie, live in Seattle, and love restaurant guides with editorial opinion -- so I like the concept of this guide. Unfortunately, when I read it, I was rapidly appalled. Instead of the guide being "fearless," a better adjective would be "insulting." Those insulted include both the restaurants being reviewed and readers who are presumed to want extreme and overly opinionated ratings where summary judgments stand in for reasoned analysis.

To take one example: a high-end restaurant I won't name appears in various other "top 10" lists (and no, I have no connection to them). It is dismissed here as being a "tourist trap" and as having "bad" food, and is rated below places such as student restaurants in the University District. This could be justified, arguably, by a quality-to-price score but not by any rational comparison of the dining experience. To state baldly that a long-time, successful restaurant that others rate highly has categorically "bad" food is a disservice to the reader and an insult to those whose tastes are different.

Much better would be to explain exactly why the authors think this, what would be better, and to offer contrasting examples or simply to state more judiciously that the food appeals to some but not to others. And again, say why that is the case, so readers can filter the information appropriately. To be sure, I agreed with some reviews here, but that is beside the point. Rather, the point is that an opinionated guide can be useful without being aggressive. A good model there would be the Time Out restaurant guides.

The book triumphs its "independence" but also takes pride that its panel includes "undercover chefs." What? It is not independent when chefs are given printed space to run down their competitors anonymously.
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Format: Paperback
I appreciate reading restaurant reviews written by people who are clever and can string together compelling sentences. There is no flowery, eye-rolling, corny text. Are the reviews sometimes a bit snarky? Absolutely, but I feel like that tone is used judiciously. If a dish or a restaurant is praise-worthy, it receives it. On the other hand, if something is disappointing to disastrous, no punches are pulled. A guide called "Fearless Critic" can't be all sunshine and lollipops. And certainly there are some places in Seattle that deserve pointed criticism. I found myself nodding in agreement and smiling at many of the reviews both positive and negative.

Fearless Critic Seattle is an entertaining read and a conversation (or argument) starter. What more can you ask of a book of restaurant reviews?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really like the premise of these books and the intersection of social media and traditional print that they represent. By working with food bloggers and giving strong editorial oversight, they created a guide that covers a lot of ground with greater depth across the restaurants it reviews than you would get from a pure crowd-sourced approach. I especially like the different tables in the front that make it easy to scan a list of places that are good for breakfast and also see where they are, what type of cuisine they offer and at what price all on one page.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clint on December 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a good premise overall- they do not hold back when they do not like something. However, the editors seemed to take short cuts with the Seattle edition. The restaurants they chose were predictable, and there weren't any real wild card restaurants that they threw into the mix. Plus they almost entirely left out brewpubs that brew their own beer. One of the great things about the Portland version of the Fearless Critic is that it rated the beer selection instead of or in place of the wine selection. Craft beer is kind of a big deal up here in the Pacific Northwest- wine isn't always the automatic libation with a good meal. At any rate, I bought this book sight unseen based on how much I enjoyed the Portland version and I was disappointed.
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