New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Department of Hospitality Management

Janet Lefler Dining Room



To: Professor Abreu, Director of Service

From: Maria Vazquez, Student

Date: September 20, 2018

RE: New York Times Restaurant Review


In Pete Wells Sept 18th restaurant review, he speaks about he restaurant Shoji at 69 Leonard Street, a Japanese cuisine located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. This location only seats 12 people but it gives the customer a better experience in my opinion. Pete Wells describes this restaurant  as “a one man show” which is run by the now chef, Derek Wilcox. Although they did not get much business during the summer since “fish can easily go bad in the summertime”, Chef Wilcox along with assistants on the other side of the counter, make the experience worth it. He also explains that “that isn’t an excuse to not visit sushi restaurant”  Pete Wells disappointment when he entered the empty establishment was seen through his writing. He believes people should visit the restaurant and give it a chance, being that it is one of the top Japanese restaurants in the city. However, he was not unhappy that he was the only customer, since this gave him a chance to have a better experience, as well as a one-on-one conversation with the chef.


Mr. Wells was expecting to get chawan mushi, which is a “bowl of hot steaming tofu custard”

Wilcox has a lot of experience cooking in Japan. He cooked 7 years at a kaiseki style restaurant in Kyoto and spent 3 years at a traditional sushi parlor in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Wilcox has conversations with customers while preparing the exquisite meal. In addition, he also informs them of the dishes he is creating. Wells explains in his review that “if you are curious enough you could get a short education in the mineral-rich clay used by potters in the town of Shigaraki.”Mr. Wells was expecting to get a chawan mushi (bowl of hot steaming tofu custard) that he had tried out in the summer. However, he did not know that Chef Wilcox changes his menu up depending on the season. The spot prawn chawan mushi was now a lobster chawan mushi. Overall, Pete Wells experience was a great one, although he had a little mishap with one of the servers “dechiphering the wines, sakes, shocua and Haitian rums, but that was not much of an issue to him.


In my opinion, I would not go to this restaurant because I am not a fan of sushi. In addition, the price is also very expensive ($190-$295). I would not recommend it to a friend as well, unless they have a deep love for seafood and want to try something new such as japanese cuisine, it would be a great experience to have.


Providing Over 70 Years of Quality Service to the Hospitality Industry