In what is probably a non-confrontational person's worst nightmare, Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner has launched a new video series in which she allows chefs to respond to her reviews. In the latest installment, the controversial critic sits down with chef/owner Matt McCallister and executive chef Cody Sharp of buzzy new Deep Ellum hot spot, Filament.
Last Friday, Brenner bestowed a glowing four-star review on the eatery. Chef Cody Sharp's Southern cooking "sings," especially when it comes to the restaurant's small plates, the critic wrote. Despite the praise, McCallister seemed less than satisfied with the rating and reacted with a lukewarm analysis of his restaurant on Facebook: "Congrats to my team!! A lot of hard work has gone into this... me personally... the food is good but it could be better... we are still figuring it out."
In an exceptionally awkward 16-minute interview, McCallister and Sharp share their surprise and — maybe — a little disappointment with the four-star review. "It definitely puts a lot of pressure on us now to exceed that expectation and push a little harder and push a little further," says Sharp.
McCallister chimes in, describing himself as "always really pessimistic." Prior to the publishing of the review, he was expecting a three-star rating, that would give Filament something to work towards. "To me four stars for Filament, I think — to me — is the best that you can get out of this restaurant. I don't know if it's ever going to get to the five-star status."
Watch the unedited interview below: