Criticizing the critic
Professional chefs and restaurateurs continually balance the flavors of their food, quality of their service, and desired atmosphere each and every day. It is unfortunate that Observer reviewer Mary Brown Malouf does not seek similar balance in her review writing.

The staff at Amici and I, as its owner, were extremely disappointed at Ms. Malouf's completely unbalanced, unobjective, and critical review ["Taster's choice," November 17]. In more than 15 years in the restaurant industry, I have come to believe that reviews are essentially subjective opinion columns. I believed, up to now, that the writer and publication had a responsibility to its readers to be at least fair, accurate, and relatively unbiased.

Amici's is not a traditional upscale cuisine restaurant, and we intend it to be that way. It is clear that Amici does not fit Ms. Malouf's preconceived idea of what fine dining is all about. Yes, our Carrollton location is unusual, and we have 15 appetizer and entree specials on any given evening. I do not require our servers to memorize the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address; I only require them to be accurate and complete in reciting the specials. If they refer to their notes, that is OK with me.

Ms. Malouf could use lessons in cuisine definitions and alternative fine dining. Amici concentrates on traditional French and Italian cuisines. Cream sauces are inherent in our food by definition. It is unfortunate Ms. Malouf did not inquire about ordering a lighter dish.

Our decor is far from pretentious because we prefer to concentrate on the quality of our food and service. Amici is intimate and private by design. Our clientele enjoys the relaxed, uncomplicated atmosphere full of personal touches. We frequently accommodate special food requests generally unavailable in larger restaurants. And what traditional restaurant survives for as long as Amici without serving any alcoholic beverages? Our clientele enjoys bringing their own wine, which makes Amici an even better dining value.

Bartolino Cacuzza

Too personal
As a regular reader of your weekly rag, I enjoy the wide variety of literary tripe mixed with the reviews, music schedules, Joe Bob Briggs, etc. I will tell you, however, that I found the recent cover article, "Road trip from hell" [October 6], both frightening and worrisome.

My sympathies go out to Mr. Tamoglia, both for the tragedies in his personal life and his hellish experience with these two thugs. However, as horrifying as his experience may have been, and as newsworthy as it may be, the extensive personal history of Mr. Tamoglia smacks of shallow, cheap, pandering journalism. I respect Mr. Tamoglia's right to do anything he desires to do with his private life, but I resent being beaten with it while trying to read this article. I do not see similar articles that expound on the details of Ms. or Mr. whoever's heterosexual relationship as I read an article about a nonsexually related topic.

H Ker Thomson

True folkie
I am a fan of the singer-songwriter folk music format of KERA ["Middle of the road," October 6]. That is the reason that even on my small college student budget, I have managed to give $155 to KERA this year to support their music format. In fact, I don't know how I'd study without it.

I am surprised that more of the true "folkies" in the area have not written to you about their support of KERA. There are many, many people who spend more time listening to folk music and going to Kerrville Folk Festival and Uncle Calvin's than I do, but on behalf of anyone who loves good folk music, I want to say "Thank you" to KERA for the format. The more folk music the better.

Stacy Resnick

Oh, for heaven's sake people, why can't you just accept the fact that Dallas radio sucks? It's been sucking for years now. If you had any idea of just how over-researched, smashed-down, pre-packaged and controlled by clueless, soulless, dead-eyed, Robo-cop executives the so-called "Music Departments" of your radio stations are, you wouldn't even consider wasting your time writing these asinine letters you've been writing--pro or con. You wanna hear music you wanna hear? Put a CD player in your car.

Pamela Steele


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