Letters for May 30, 2002

A French licking

Our restaurant is a small, homey place, not full of the pretense Karetnick exhibits. We have merely attempted to give the place a slice of our personalities, a little playfulness, a touch of France here, a tad of South Florida there. We aren't competing for the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.

We want our restaurant to be a place where people feel comfortable eating. So what if some of the posters are framed and some are not? What does this say about the restaurant, the food, or the owners? She goes out of her way to nitpick about this and then doesn't bother to elaborate on its significance. I'm sure there must be some larger meaning here, some larger truth. Or perhaps she simply came in, applied her patronizing assumptions, and decided she wasn't going to like the place. I thought professional food critics entered with an open mind.

What is so radical about keeping a book of patrons' compliments and thoughts? What is insincere about this? Restaurants and bars around the country do it. It's nothing new. Perhaps you should get out more. And the comment on Jacques having served Richard Nixon is beyond the pale. Please tell us what in the world you take issue with in your comments: "And then, of course, there's the blurb on the front that boasts, 'Chef Jacques of Le Rescatore France has proudly served international personalities, Richard Nixon and movie stars.' Which of these things is not like the other?"

We have no idea what she is talking about here. Does she? This is just an example of the ridiculous lengths she goes to to criticize every aspect of the restaurant. Does she even believe any of this nonsense, or is she trying to sound superintellectual? She writes: "A local fish might have more impact here. Indeed, not much nod is given to the South Florida region at all...." We are a French restaurant, for goodness's sake; we don't have to give a nod to South Florida cuisine, even if we do try to reflect South Florida in our décor.

Karetnick also seems to have a beef with the elderly when she refers to my lovely, very experienced, and well-loved pianist as just "an elderly woman on piano." You could not think of anything nice to say about her? I suppose not.

As for my singing, it's all in fun. Sometimes customers make requests for favorite songs; sometimes they come up and sing along. Maybe it's time Karetnick invested in some of the same brutal honesty she so proudly gave us in her review. If she did, the self-reflection might help her see that writing nastily is not the same as writing critically. Ms. Karetnick, you really could benefit from some journalism classes!

Jacques and Marie Bagot
Boca Raton

Erratum: In the Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners item of our Best of Broward-Palm Beach issue (May 16), we incorrectly identified the agency that manages the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The wetlands are operated by the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department. New Times regrets the error.

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