In a scathing review of the “worst Michelin-starred restaurant” in Italy, a food blogger said she was served twelve kinds of foam and a dessert inside a plaster mould of the chef’s mouth over a 27-course tasting menu.
The now viral review published on Wednesday by The Everywhereist blogger Geraldine DeRuiter titled “Bros., Lecce: We Eat at The Worst Michelin Starred Restaurant, Ever” detailed most of the meals she and her husband ate with six of their friends and asked her readers to not eat at the restaurant.
Calling it a dinner theatre but without any dinner and a “very very expensive theatre,” Ms DeRuiter said the experience made her feel like she was a character in a Charles Dickens novel.
“Because – I cannot impart this enough – there was nothing even close to an actual meal served,” she wrote in her review.
“Some ‘courses’ were slivers of edible paper. Some shots were glasses of vinegar. Everything tasted like fish, even the non-fish courses. And nearly everything, including these noodles, which was by far the most substantial dish we had, was served cold,” the food blogger wrote.
Her claims were backed by photos of the food she was served and most appeared too less for the serving portion or not appetising.
Stating her hypothesis, Ms DeRuiter said: “Maybe the staff just ran out of food that night. Maybe they confused our table with that of their ex-lover’s. Maybe they were drunk.”
“But we got twelve kinds of foam, something that I can only describe as ‘an oyster loaf that tasted like Newark airport’, and a teaspoon of savoury ice cream that was olive flavoured,” she wrote.
The blogger and writer explained that there is no menu at the Michelin-starred Bros. The guests are given just a blank newspaper with a QR code linking to a video featuring one of the chefs without explaining anything at all about the menu.
“...presumably, against a black background, talking directly into the camera about things entirely unrelated to food,” she wrote.
The review added: “He occasionally used the proper noun of the restaurant as an adverb, the way a Smurf would. This means that you can’t order anything besides the tasting menu, but also that you are at the mercy of the servers to explain to you what the hell is going on.”
In one bizarre explanation, the servers said one of the dishes which looked like a “tiny fried cheese ball” was made of “rancid ricotta”.
To which, the blogger asked: “I’m… I’m sorry, did you say rancid? You mean… fermented? Aged?”
“Okay, but I think that something might be lost in translation. Because it can’t be-” she continued.
“Rancido,” the server clarified.
The guests were presented with another course of “citrus foam” which was served in a plaster cast of the chef’s mouth, she said.
“Absent utensils, we were told to lick it out of the chef’s mouth in a scene that I’m pretty sure was stolen from an eastern European horror film,” Ms DeRuiter said.
In the end, after detailing several such dishes, the blogger left a recommendation for her readers.
“Recommendation: Do not eat here. I cannot express this enough. This was single-handedly one of the worse wastes of money in my entire food and travel writing career bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha oh my god,” she said.
The review went viral shortly after The New Yorker’s food writer Helen Rosner shared it on Twitter and expressed her surprise.
Several users took to sharing the review. Actor Kristen Johnston said: “I wanted to barf & laugh & applaud all at the very same time”.
One of the users wrote: “If a waiter handed this to me I would, no joke, immediately set fire to the restaurant.”
However, the experience of the blogger was in sharp contrast to other users who posted their reviews on the internet.
“The restaurant, food and service was excellent. If you enjoy a high end food experience, this is the spot to go. Thank you to the team for a great lunch and a great memory of lecce and puglia food,” according to a visitor who left a review on TripAdvisor.
Another local guide said that the place is “very original” and has unique cuisine. They added that the chef is highly talented, especially in molecular techniques.
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