This Bad Restaurant Review Hurt Bobby Flay The Most

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has an extremely impressive resume. He's won multiple Emmys for his television shows, he's a three-time James Beard Award winner, and he's even been inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame, per his website. If that wasn't incredible enough, the "Beat Bobby Flay" star also has created multiple restaurants, which continue to dazzle foodies around the country. One of his newer eateries is Amalfi that's located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and features decadent Mediterranean dishes like squid ink fettuccine and roasted butterflied prawns.

However, it was Flay's first restaurant that he opened in 1991 that really made waves in the New York culinary scene, according to his site. The television personality launched Mesa Grill, which featured a modern take on Tex-Mex cuisine that seemed to really resonate with customers and critics — New York Magazine even named it "Restaurant of the Year" in 1992. But Flay recently revealed that not every publication was a fan of his establishment.

What a harsh critic had to say about Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill

During a podcast, Flay spoke candidly with his daughter, Sophie, about restaurant reviews and how important they used to be over the success of a new place. The chef recalled a time when New York Times writer, Frank Bruni, came into critique his eatery and only gave it a one-star rating. Flay explained that it was "literally one of the worst days of my life because it was the only time in my life that I got taken down a star. The bottom line is he said that I took my eye off of the restaurant and maybe he was right."

The "Iron Chef" star said that he realized after the criticism that Mesa Grill was definitely beyond its "hay day moment," but it still stung to read. "When you have a restaurant for 26 years there are the salad days so to speak, and then there are the days where the restaurant is not at its best," Flay admitted. "It's a living breathing thing and basically he caught me in a moment where it could have been better." Despite the bruise to his ego, Flay called Bruni to thank him for his tough review because the cook said he understands that he's in the business of putting himself on the line. "It is what it is," he said. "I've been really lucky."