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Comment Archives: stories: Dining: Restaurant Reviews

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Pitch Music reviewers please take note: Just because its local , it doesnt mean you have to fawn all over it even when it clearly sucks. Refer to the Standees review above if you have any questions.

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by c on 07/31/2013 at 9:19 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Credentials...who cares? Does it taste good, is it satisfying, and is it served properly? Charles is the most respected critic and writer in town. He also will look past bad dishes and service some. Charles worked as a waiter for years, and he has been writing as a food critic for years. He knows the restaurant business as well or better than anyone. He's been known to overlook bad dishes and service when he can, because he is so loyal to the restaurant industry and doesn't want to hurt someone's business. He is also very humble. Seldom does he mention his credentials, (including being run out of the restaurant and being threatened by old man Jasper.)

So Chef McDonnell, you can applaud your credentials, and the 1477 woman can applaud your credentials, but I respect Charles' credentials far more. Probably most of the restaurant business in KC respects Charles' credentials far more than yours.

20 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by A former restauranteur on 07/31/2013 at 8:58 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

We ate at Standee's last Saturday night. Had the salmon appetizer, which was very small for the money, with a pale, tasteless slice of tomato. Also had the mussels entree, which was not very satisfying, although the fries that were not soggy tasted good. The mussels had little flavor. No bread was served. When I asked for bread to sop up the broth, it took several minutes to get 6 small slices of soft bread. I was charged $2 for the "brioche".

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Fairway Fred on 07/31/2013 at 6:30 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Lady 1477 with a name as that I don't think you should be dissing others of theirs. Now as to who is ignorant you seem to have done a good job of showing that you are. Charles is a writer and nowhere did he claim to know how to run a restaurant nor was I even aware that a food critic had to know how to run a eating establishment before doing a story on any eating establishment. The writer goes to the place and writes a story about the food they ate and the establishment itself. Most but not always will maybe interview the chef or the managers, maybe even a waitress or two. But I as anyone else reading this can tell you we don't need to go to culinary school or restaurant management school to know rather the steak we are eating is any good. As a rule I find the Pitch food reviews to be close to on the money and if you Lady1477 are unhappy about what Charles or anyone else said about Standee's get over it and move on life and stop trying to defend something it appears is very personal to you. I promise not to make fun of your nail color if you do so.

13 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by David Superdave Larson on 07/31/2013 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Been to Standees and love the food! Great service too would highly recommend! This place has been a great addition to prairie village and Chef Greg always takes care of us and take the extra time to come see us at the table! Try it yourselves and you will see!

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Corey Ringh on 07/31/2013 at 5:39 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

PS I think 'Savvy Dave' may have missed the mark on the definition of loyalty. Throwing the person who designed your menu under the bus because you aren't capable of doing the job you were hired to do is not what I would consider "loyalty."

8 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by lady1477 on 07/31/2013 at 5:25 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

I can't imagine why Chef McDonnell or anyone else for that matter would care what someone who calls themselves 'Superdave' and 'wink dinkelmeyer' think. Stick to McDonalds boys. Not verifying the statements made by Standees managers with the consultants and even making the comment that an executive Chef could be blameless for the food is just bad food critique and flatly ignorant of the way a restaurant is run. Who hires and executive chef who can't execute the menu???? Or line cooks who aren't up to snuff and then refuses any training or input on staff by the very company who designed the menu? Someone who does not know how to run a restaurant. If anyone is guilty of over reaching or making things too complicated it is Standees themselves.

11 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by lady1477 on 07/31/2013 at 5:14 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

I really like the frank reviews, and this one is no exception, but restaurants shouldn't be forced to cater to vegans. If you don't eat meat, you're really not very much fun to dine with. Bring a bag of carrots or something and stop forcing everyone to cater to vegetarians--which are basically just very picky eaters!

19 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Chris on 07/31/2013 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

I think Chef Patrick's main problem with this story is that it wasn't written like a news article, rather like a blog. The difference often being that when a news article states something, or mentions someone's name, they often verify those facts independently, or at least get both party's perspectives.

In no way am I trying to criticize Charles' article, just point out the difference in styles, and that people should be aware of them.

As someone who's been there (just for drinks and a movie), I found the ambiance to be refreshing. The layout and look of the bar is nice, and the prices on drinks ($7 for a single and $10 for a double Glenlivet) were great. As a vegetarian, I'm happy to even find the two items on the menu that I could eat. It's sad to say, but not eating meat in the midwest is difficult. You either have to rely on ethnic restaurants or limited menu options... there's only so many Eden's Alley type places around. I'd say the menu is better than 50% of "American" restaurants in the area for vegetarians. I'd have loved to see more options, but two is a start...

18 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Skye Coleman on 07/31/2013 at 12:23 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

More drama than you'll ever see on a Yelp review.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Severin on 07/31/2013 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

99.9% of people would have never known that Chef Patrick McDonnell of McDonnell Kinder restaurant consultants was the consultant in question. Charles showed tact in not naming the chef for all of the reasons he stated. The blame is limited after the chef has left town.

By his comment we have learned a few things about Chef McDonnell
1) His ego will not allow him to read a critique of food he did not cook without replying.
2) In his reply he will throw under the bus all of the people who paid him to consult.
3) He will trash another chef to maintain his reputation.
4) He will use the reputation of other chefs to bolster his own.
5) Once the check is cashed, no further loyalty will be shown to the client.

It would have been very easy to ignore this review or to send an email to Charles directly. Instead, the chef had an Amy's Baking Company moment and blamed everyone he could, including those that paid him to consult with them. While I would have advised him to handle this privately, I am sure the final decision will be up to the future clients who read this comment and decide if this is someone they want to pay to design their menu. They cannot say they haven't been warned.

46 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Savvy Dave on 07/31/2013 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Wow, these comments all smell like snob.

8 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by dotte on 07/31/2013 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Chef Patrick-The truth hurts, eh?

17 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Wink Dinklemeyer on 07/31/2013 at 8:24 AM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Chef McDonnell, Charles gave a report on what he saw and tasted. He also talked with current managers and did this story based on that. If you have an issue with it I suggest you contact Standee's and air your bitching about facts with them. I personally don't care what you have done in the past if you are no longer the head chef there at Standees it is a rather moot issue. Sounds to me like Standee's is already dealing with huge issues and maybe your huge ass ego is a part of it.

28 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by David Superdave Larson on 07/31/2013 at 7:34 AM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Charles - There's nothing on that menu that a competent Executive chef with a well trained culinary team cannot execute, that I can assure you. Both the Sous Chef and the Head Line cook who we trained for Standee's who left, now work for Debbie Gold at Red Door in similar positions. We do this kind of development work for all the majors and many of their line cooks are of the same level as Standee's or less. Everything worked extremely well during the start up and in spite of what you may have been told, there have been numerous changes since we left. And yes, you should tell your readers if something is not up to standard but it is unfair to focus in on me and my people for the failings of others without verifying the information concerning me that you may have been given. I would have been be happy to talk to you at any time and give you the facts.

19 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Chef Patrick McDonnell on 07/31/2013 at 2:55 AM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Chef McDonnell: Your defensive protests may be true, but I based my reporting on what I was told by two different managers: that the Standees menu had been created by your team, that no changes had been made since the opening (and that none were planned in the immediate future)and that chef Pickard had not been permitted to make changes or even tweak the menu. If he has made "numerous changes," neither the managers or the servers I spoke with were willing to discuss them. As a veteran of many restaurant openings, I well understand that a chef is like a stage director and when he leaves the production, the quality and even the integrity of a show can change dramatically. In the case of Standees, if the kitchen staff of the restaurant can't execute your dishes, I think it's in the best interest of the consumer and the restaurant's management to become aware of it -- quickly (your comment about mussels resonates here because we did not open the closed shells and complained that they were even in the serving bowl for the very reasons that you cite) and take appropriate action. The current Standees menu is very creative and imaginative as a restaurant connected with a cinema should, ideally, be. But if the kitchen can't pull it off in your absence, perhaps you should have created a work of art that was less...complicated. In this case, there's really no one person who deserves
the brunt of criticism, particularly you. But if Standees has problems putting out a consistent culinary product, someone should be willing to step up to the plate and take some definitive action.

27 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Charles on 07/31/2013 at 2:16 AM

Re: “Standees isn't quite ready
for its close-up

Dear Charles,

As the "Culinary Consultant" who designed Standee's menu, I find your article shows a definite lack of knowledge when it comes to restaurant execution. My team left Standee's on May 28th and we have not been in the restaurant or worked with them since. Up until the time our contract was completed, the executional aspect was well under control and the quality of the food was at the highest level. Now, all of the cooking and culinary decisions are being made by Greg Pickard and his cooks, who you are so quick to label as blameless. Who do you think is doing the day to day recipe execution and the cooking? Certainly not me or my team. And the fact is that Greg Picard never availed himself of any of the training that took place during the four weeks prior to opening. We did not hire any of the culinary team, nor did we endorse the hiring of Greg Pickard. In fact we recommended against hiring him. It's also my understanding that the sous chef and the lead cook who we trained, left shortly after our departure. If poorly executed food is being served, it's on Greg Pickard's watch.

I suggest you take a few minutes to find out a little about my credentials and background. You will find that as well as being a "consultant", a term you appear to have used sarcastically, I have a national reputation as a top chef. You can read my biography on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chefpatrick.mcdon… or on our website http://www.mcdonnellkinder.com.

I am also the culinary director of Food Arts magazine, the sister publication of the Wine Spectator, and one of the most esteemed culinary publications in the country. I have held that position since 1988 when Michael Batterberry (assuming you know who he was), brought me in to help start the magazine. I think you will find that Food Arts has a much greater circulation than that of the Pitch, so you could say it carries some weight. My company has been in business since 1989 and I have a team of 8 top chefs. We have done work for a score of major food companies, national boards, top hotels, chains and non chain restaurants across the country and internationally. Along with my team members, I have also worked with Wolfgang Puck, Jose Garces, David Burke, Thomas Keller, Jean Georges Vongerichten and a myriad of other leading culinarians.

It appears that you don't have a sound grasp of what is actually going on at Standee's, and it is unfair and erroneous for you to try to give the impression to your readers that my chefs and I are to blame for any work that is being done in a kitchen where we have no presence or control over the numerous changes that Pickard has made to recipes, ingredients and procedures, since we left two months ago.

And by the way, if you are being served closed mussels, don't try to pry them open. A freshly cooked mussel that is alive will always open fully. If it's shut, then it's dead, and if you eat it you could very well end up with food poisoning. Whoever allowed it to be served that way has no idea what they are doing.


Chef Patrick McDonnell

19 likes, 43 dislikes
Posted by Chef Patrick McDonnell on 07/31/2013 at 1:23 AM

Re: “Piropos learns a second language: pizza

a 7" pizza? hell, I think Schlotzky's is bigger than that

Posted by Me on 07/24/2013 at 4:47 PM

Re: “Pad-Thai gets points for effort but needs to tighten up

I loved Tasty Thai, but if you ever have the chance to go to King and I in St. Louis, DO IT! The best Asian cuisine I've ever had and everyone in my party of 8 agreed.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Benton Grayson on 07/17/2013 at 2:53 PM

Re: “The Corner returns a little pricier but worth every penny

5 wimpy asparagus spears wrapped in a whisp of prosciutto, dipped in a thin batter, and deep fried for $10? I've heard this place is busy sometimes but definitely wasn't when I was there on a weeknight. For all the stuff on the menu the only thing we could get the waitress to highly recommend was the burger. She was right - it was the only thing we had that we liked..

Posted by quityerbitchin on 07/13/2013 at 8:29 PM

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