La Russa's Lip

Week of November 6, 2002

La Russa's Lip
Tony was right to slam Phoenix shock-jock: Did Tony La Russa make inappropriate comments to Beau Duran ["The Worm," October 23]? No, he didn't. Darryl Kile will be placed on the Hall of Fame ballot five years early, and his grieving widow does not deserve to be harassed by pranksters.
Ben Schaper
South County

Prime Cut
Steak fit for a garbage can: About once a year, I pick up a copy of the Riverfront Times in hopes there may actually be something worth reading. But each year, it winds up in the trash can, where it belongs. This year was no different. I picked up my yearly copy a couple of days ago and happened to open it to the review of the St. Louis Steakhouse by Jill Posey-Smith ["U.S. Prime," October 23]. Guess what? We have a new record time to the trash can! I didn't make it past the first paragraph of the review. You continue to amaze me with how you can allow someone to turn a restaurant review into a pathetic social commentary. The RFT used to be an amusing little paper. Now it's just pathetic.
Bruce Hensley

Beef -- it's what's for dinner: Wonderful review of the St. Louis Steakhouse. Absolutely hilarious and probably dead-on political commentary in your introduction. Well done!
Peter Wollenberg
via the Internet

Rubber Calamari
Truck-stop trash: Usually I like reading the Riverfront Times "Café" section, but I must question the editorial judgment of restaurant reviewer Melissa Martin in her October 16 review of Café Napoli ["Italian for Beginners"]. Although I'm not a great fan of calamari, must she refer to it as "narrower in diameter than condoms and just as rubbery?" Nor were we spared another inappropriate and plain bizarre metaphor. Ms. Martin stated that a spinach dish was cooked "to the consistency of wet toilet paper." Was Ms. Martin dining in a restaurant or the men's room of a roadside truck stop? No matter how poorly cooked she found the food, there was no excuse to drag bathroom and other disgusting references into it. Perhaps a condom joke was a failed attempt at humor, but it had no place even in the RFT. A creative writer would have found other ways of describing her dissatisfaction with the food while still getting the point across to her readers. You can call me a prude if you want to, but this was, after all, a restaurant review and not the back ads of your paper. While both are important, I would appreciate it if these two worlds could be kept separate. Thank you.
Cathy Cohn
via the Internet

Ignore the majority: Reading Melissa Martin's review "Italian for Beginners" was a shocking experience for me. My first reaction was that Ms. Martin had never dined at Café Napoli. The review of Café Napoli could not have been more off the mark. Ms. Martin could defer to the judgment of thousands of St. Louisans who believe that Café Napoli is a St. Louis treasure, but I doubt that would be persuasive to her. Her sophomoric references to condoms and toilet paper convince me that she believes her audience is too pedestrian to appreciate any review that describes wonderful food, great atmosphere and perfect service. If the fact that (according to Ms. Martin) Café Napoli has "packed in the customers since it opened in 1989" is not evidence of quality, I would like to inform her that friends who visit St. Louis from New York, San Francisco and Buenos Aires all insist on dining at Café Napoli and find it truly wonderful. Restaurant reviewers, like politicians, can say anything (even if it is not true), but elections are won by a majority. A huge majority disagrees with her review and loves this restaurant.
Darold E. Crotzer Jr.

Cool Strings
Loves that blissful cello: Your review of Rasputina was so descriptive, I wish I could go right out and hear them [Niles Baranowski, "Critic's Pick," October 23]. I remember the cellist playing on MTV's Nirvana Unplugged, thinking how beautiful an addition that instrument was and how cool for the musician.
Sandy Morrissey
Phoenix, Arizona

Sound Check
The best bands: I really think you need to check yourself a little bit [Byron Kerman, "Band Out of Hell," October 23]. Better than [Nine Inch Nails]? Why call [Gravity Kills] a group of frauds when they never claimed to be anything but a rock band? They did that very well and had one of the top 100 songs of the '90s. It's easy to throw stones when you don't like a style or when you're trying to pump up your friends. You should look around at all the other bands that have been around as long as [Son of William] and who haven't gotten anywhere.
via the Internet

Nailed It
Keep hammerin' away at this story [Jim Nesbitt, "Double-Take," October 23]. This whole deal stinks to high heaven, and you have to keep reminding the voting public of that fact. The P-D is barely scratching the surface of this story. You are the biggest media outlet covering this thing with any depth. Keep it up. Let's shine some light on these goblins and trolls and see what shakes out.
Ajay Zutshi
St. Louis

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