Gary Wesson

Growing pains
I have just finished reading the article about the dispute between Ron Price and Mr. [James] Murphy ["Grow up," January 8] and had a few questions and comments.

1. Can a person really get a ticket for cursing at a teacher? I know I have seen it happen before, but that was far from the punishment.

2. Why does Ron Price live with his mom, who refuses to leave for fear that he will be hurt? She must be a formidable foe for an older woman.

3. "I'm not going nowhere to talk to my neighbor"...Interesting statement coming from a man with a high-ranking educational position.

Travis Day
Via e-mail

Awwwww, too bad
I wept bitter tears to hear that there are prisoners who are not served meals that meet the requirements of their religion ["Not kosher," January 8]. These poor pious people are so dedicated to the tenets of their religions that they cannot bear to act in any manner that goes against their religious teachings.

But on the other hand, if these people were truly pious, they would not have acted in a manner that put them in prison in the first place. Let them eat Twinkies!

Mark Milam
Via e-mail

I have seen many reviews concerning the new hit restaurant AquaKnox ["International waters," December 25]. As a native Dallasite, I include myself in the finicky crowd that constantly searches for the next hot spot. I have watched restaurants and bars come and go and also observed those that managed to last. My prediction is that the trendiness of AquaKnox will be its demise. Great food is important, but this can be found in numerous restaurants in this town. Service and atmosphere have become the leading factor in a successful restaurant in Dallas.

Walking into AquaKnox, I was greeted by two women who acknowledged our reservation, then looked at us with a blank stare, not saying a word. My friend said "Well?" and the hostess replied, "Of course, you should wait in the bar." We followed instructions and ordered two martinis, the signature drink at AquaKnox. It took more than 20 minutes for the hostess to tell us our table was ready in a nearly empty restaurant. Instead of showing us to our table, the hostess took us back to the front and said that the maitre d' would seat us. The waiter from the bar carried our huge martinis on a tray while we waited. We were left standing for close to 10 minutes, the waiter standing behind us with a heavy tray the entire time. We must have looked pretty ridiculous. The maitre d' finally showed up and escorted us to our table without a smile or an apology.

The centerpiece lemons are a nice touch, but between those and the martinis, I could not see my friend to have a conversation. Our waiter was attentive but extremely aloof. At one point, I reached to pour myself more bottled water, and he charged over to our table to grab the water out of my hand. His tone was very condescending and often quite annoying. I understand that the wait staff needs an attitude to gain respect from the Dallas crowd, but there is a limit that should not be crossed. I am quite aware of the dos and don'ts of fine dining; I have eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the country. AquaKnox, however, is the only establishment that has made me feel uncomfortable.

My impression of AquaKnox is like that of the restaurant in the movie L.A. Story with Steve Martin. I wonder if annual household income is checked before a reservation is accepted. Stephan Pyles did an excellent job with Star Canyon and creates some fine cuisine, but Dallas is not ready for the L.A. atmosphere. We are from Texas and have a need for friendliness in our interactions. AquaKnox opened at the same time as other restaurants such as Palomino and Mediterraneo at the Quadrangle. Competition is fierce, and my bet is on those with a warm greeting and smile.

Kristi Potts

Golden nag
I had lunch at the Palomino ["Pooped-out pony," December 18] and had the seafood ravioli, which was tantalizing until I cut into it and discovered that there was very little seafood inside. I enjoyed the artichoke and crab dip, but the crisp flat bread was charred a bit too much. The bread pudding was flawless, but overall the meal was good--OK, fair. But at that price range, I will not return for anything less than perfection.

Via e-mail

Tip of the iceberg
"Comfortably numb" well describes the mental condition of Michael Sragow at the time he wrote the review of a movie he has never bothered to watch, Titanic [January 8]. It is clear that he never bothered to watch the movie, because many of the complaints he lodges about supposedly missing elements were, in fact, prominently featured in this fine cinematic work.

Furthermore, many aspects that were in the movie are unfairly the subject of Sragow's scorn and attempts to be cute. For example, the "uppercrust arrogance and sloppiness" that caused the tragic crash of the ship were real, not imagined.

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