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Letters to the Editor

Every letter-writer should be so polite: My name is Massimo Balacchi, chef-proprietor of Café del Maxx, and I would like to inform you that in the article written about my restaurant ("Anybody Home?" July 26), my last name was misspelled (as "Malacchi").

I would also like to address the fact that in the article it stated that we were closed during hours of operation when Ms. Karetnick came for lunch. That statement was true, and also the fact that my waiter told Ms. Karetnick that we had a meeting was also true. The meeting was not a restaurant meeting but a meeting called from building management, which unfortunately took longer than anticipated.

I and the rest of our staff wish to express our apologies to Ms. Karetnick and her companion, as well as the rest of the guests we might have inconvenienced during the time we were closed for opening our restaurant late that day.

Thank you for your consideration.

Massimo Balacchi
chef and proprietor, Café del Maxx

Happy to escape unslain: It was with a great sense of pride and satisfaction (and relief) that I read Jen Karetnick's review of the George and Dragon Pub & Restaurant ("Beyond Pub Grub," July 19). As she can appreciate, the reputation and growth of a restaurant and bar can be greatly affected by the reports that circulate about it. I am pleased to say that I found her article informative and interesting. It portrayed exactly the theme and atmosphere that we work hard to generate.

In turn I applaud her professionalism as a journalist, which was apparent in that she actually took the time to research the history and meaning of our name. The relevance is well known to people of British origin but sometimes lost on our American audience. On behalf of myself and my wife, the staff and the management of the George and Dragon, I give her a heartfelt "Thank you!"

Steve Howes
proprietor, the George and Dragon
Fort Lauderdale

Gryphon, Slavin need to relax: I enjoyed reading Gryphon's attack on Jen Karetnick (Letters, June 28), but for different reasons than Harvey Slavin ( Letters, July 26). I was impressed by the sheer novelty of it. I don't think I've ever read such a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to a critic's review. Novelty aside, I think it is unconscionable that Gryphon makes excuses for its poor performance as a restaurant by saying that "We're more a nightclub that happens to serve food." In that case, Gryphon, don't advertise yourself as a restaurant at all, and let your clubgoers discover the food as a bonus. Fine restaurants in South Florida are legion, and a choosy public has no patience for mediocrity on any level. If your food is as good as you claim, word will get around. On the other hand, negative word of mouth about any aspect of your business will close your doors faster than you can fumble around for the appropriate excuses.

As for Harvey Slavin, I found his attack on Jen to be mean-spirited and in poor taste. I enjoy reading Jen's reviews, and I find no evidence of what Harvey calls "low credibility." Jen is a fine writer, and her reviews are consistently clever and informative. Having been in the restaurant business for over eight years, I find Jen's description and experiences with food and wine to be consistently accurate. I suspect that the real reason Harvey attacked Jen was because Gryphon opened the door for him, and he gleefully saw an opportunity to crawl out from the woodwork and kick Jen when he presumed she was down.

Daniel Hill
via the Internet

Them's fightin' words: Damn, I'm sick of hearing that Slavin guy whine all the time. What's he got over you people that his letters always make it to print? All he does is whine and complain and usually makes no sense. You must get too few letters if you're still publishing his inane drivel.

I'd hate to see a time limit put on the letters to the editor like the big boys impose, but in the big whiner's case there should be an exception: Once a year sounds about right, but to be truly fair in his case, once a lifetime would be more reasonable. Harvey, get a life! I thought I remembered you writing that you'd never write a letter to the editor again. Please keep your word.

Julius Krajewski
Boca Raton

Owing to an editing error, the amount of money Miami Fusion owner Ken Horowitz has spent renovating Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium was misstated in our July 26 cover story ("Is This aFútbol Town?"). The correct amount is $5 million. New Times regrets the error.

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