Letters to the Editor

Jen's mom is now safe at the River House: I am writing in regard to Jen Karetnick's review of the River House ("Bringing Up the Rear," September 21). First let me say there is never any excuse for poorly prepared or spoiled food being served in a restaurant. I have been in the business since I was in high school, and I am greatly distressed that such a serious and unprofessional lapse occurred in my restaurant.

As Jen pointed out, the food was immediately replaced. It was an awkward situation for the manager on duty. Her intent was to provide a new meal and apologize for the spoiled fish. She did not mean to create an impression that the kitchen wasn't informed about the circumstances and reason the fish was replaced.

Peter [Boulukos] and I have made both kitchen staff and front-of-the-house changes as a result of your article. A chef is both an artisan and a manager. We provide our chefs with sufficient resources to purchase the highest-quality ingredients, and we will not tolerate substandard -- or worse, spoiled -- food. Until we find a replacement for our previous chef, Peter will be supervising in the kitchen.

Customers who visit the River House are looking for a unique dining experience. We are addressing the service issues Jen mentioned. Utensils should be placed on plates before they are removed so they won't be dropped on patrons. I am sorry this happened to her mother. We'd be happy to refund cleaning expenses.

We have the greatest respect for Jen's opinion and can only ask that she return in the future to try the River House again. Both Peter and I are committed to making the River House a great place to enjoy an evening out. Please feel free to contact us at any time regarding the River House or any of our restaurants.

Tim Petrillo
The River House
Fort Lauderdale

Wyatt Herbicide, meet Ike Canker: Regarding Amy Roe's article ("Branch Managers," September 14) about how it's illegal to kill trees in South Florida: This is a sick joke, right? The Department of Agriculture presently has a mandate to kill every citrus tree in Dade and Broward counties to "protect" them from citrus canker. Maybe we should buy the pro-tree cops and the anti-tree cops pistols and let them shoot it out.

Chip Veres

This letter writer won't Schutze up: Bob Norman's "Bully" pulpit ("A Bully Market," September 7) was very well intended and written, but the "demonization" of youth by filmers and writers was lame to the tenth degree (on a scale of one to ten).

Bully author Jim Schutze came to Broward from Dallas, claiming to be the chief correspondent for the Houston Chronicle; in this book he seems to detest each and every Florida soul and parent except prosecutor Tim Donnelly, who practically wrote his book for him apparently, save for a month's subscription to the Sun-Sentinel.

Norman's piece on the planned film is filled with so much Follywood, not because you failed a try at truth, but because Schutze did not level with your writer, Bob Norman, any more than he did in the Bully book. If Texas is depending on poor Jim as a reporter, it's in big trouble, because the Dallas Morning News never gives any help. Maybe there's hope for "Big D" from the other Observer writers and Molly Ivins of Fort Worth's Star-Telegram. All we can pray for is that [Schutze] stay the hell out of Fort Lauderdale.

And Schutze's position that he never saw Larry Clark's two unusual films, Kids and Another Day in Paradise, is unusual. Jim told me he had "been screwed out of film rights" in two previous "true-crime yarns" and was not going to get screwed again on film rights. So what's this about never having seen Clark's films? Hello??

Logan Smiley
Miami-Dade County

Jim Schutze replies from Dallas: Mr. Smiley is wrong. I never claimed to be anyone's chief correspondent. I did, however, serve two years as Dallas bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle. Nor did I ever tell anyone I was screwed out of film rights. As for staying out of Fort Lauderdale, I can't promise to honor the request. I'd come to town at a moment's notice, specifically to haunt Mr. Smiley.

Another knock at our favorite postpunks: Once again we give Sunday Driver the benefit of the doubt and give them a great time slot for their second appearance at the Metal Factory. (See Bandwidth, September 7.) And once again they disappoint us. Not only did they pull in fewer people than the last time they were here, they drove the rest of our customers out of the club.

If this wasn't bad enough, the whole band was out of tune, and no matter how good Creed's soundman is, he never could have gotten this band to sound good. As far as the '80s-music thing goes, if that's what the crowd requests at the DJ booth, that's what the crowd gets.

In my professional opinion, based on the way Sunday Driver draws their fans (or doesn't), I don't think they should quit their day jobs.

Fear, Resident DJ
The Metal Factory
Fort Lauderdale

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