12-Year-Old Publishes a New York Dining Guide


David Pines, a 12-year-old gourmand from New York City, decided to fill what he considers a hole in restaurant criticism: dining suggestions for kids. “Adults make too many judgments based on the appearance of the restaurants,” he told the New York Daily News. “They get mad because the glasses weren’t all there when they walked in. I’m like, who cares? How did the food taste?”

In the Daily News article, Pines said that he saw lots of guides for entire restaurants and none for the best places to find specific foods. (Clearly he does not follow Fork in the Road’s 10 Best series, ahem.) So he got his parents to take him to restaurants around the city, and he would jot down notes about their signature dishes, like the soup dumplings at Chinatown Brasserie or the cupcakes at Baked by Melissa. Then he, or more likely his parents, arranged for an obscure press — Conifer Press — to publish his critiques in a book called Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things to Eat and Drink in New York City.

The kid’s cute, and his writing is endearingly enthusiastic. Of the fries at Pommes Frites in the East Village he writes, “The fries come out really hot and have a perfect crunch: you will never want to stop eating them. You really get the crunch, and then your teeth get to the softness of the inside of the French fry and YUMMMMMM!”

There’s also nothing cooler when you’re a young person with a literary bent than to have your book published and then get interviewed by the Daily News and Midtown Lunch. It’s really a shame that practically no one his age will actually read his youth Zagat guide. Try getting a 12-year-old to read anything nonfiction, much less a listage-y book about grown-up restaurants. Maybe it’ll be a best seller among New York moms, who can figure out where to take their kids for the best grilled cheese in the city from this oh-so-adorably precocious child.

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