In The Great Brooklyn Dining Debate, Steve Cuozzo Responds to Robert Sietsema, Then Carla Spartos Responds to Cuozz


The Brooklyn dining debate fueled by Mimi Sheraton’s curmudgeonly rant against the borough rages on. The Post‘s Steve Cuozzo and Carla Spartos go head-to-head in defense of Sheraton and Brooklyn, respectively. Here’s the breakdown:

Cuozzo stands by his previous eye-rolling at how the “‘green’-oriented eateries of Williamsburg and Park Slope wear their mediocrity on their artisanal sleeves.” He concedes that the borough has some “fine chefs,” but argues that it’s the “media zeitgeist” surrounding them that’s overblown, that “[t]he new order in Brooklyn is Manhattan-style attitude.” He does, however, point out — as Our Man Sietsema did — that the true value of Brooklyn’s food scene lies in its lesser-explored neighborhoods, like Bushwick and Canarsie, far beyond the comforts of Smith Street and Bedford Avenue.

Spartos is on the big borough’s side, comparing Brooklyn’s “DIY ‘counter’-culture scene” to “the beatniks of Greenwich Village and the punks of the East Village.” She admits to being part of the young, creative class that has fled to Brooklyn, but accuses Manhattan of being stale: “Yes, Manhattan, you’re losing your edge,” she says, finishing with a vivid description of her worst (Café Select) and best (Prime Meats) meals of 2010.

OK, so it seems like food writers can (and will) continue to go back and forth on the issue. But, for those of us who live in neighborhoods like Sunset Park and Bed-Stuy (and set foot on the Slope with caution), it seems like the Sietsemas and Cuozzos of the world are both right and, to some degree, in agreement. In other words, the debate can’t end in Carroll Gardens. One must go beyond the gentrified borders of the borough before Brooklyn’s merit can truly be evaluated. Then we can talk culinary adventure.

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