Week of March 23, 2005

Everybody's a Critic
Rose Martelli is up to no good: It is everything I can do not to start and end this letter with "She's a bitch!" With that said, Rose Martelli is doing no good for the Riverfront Times or the restaurant community ["The Back Burner," March 9]. She is a bitter, myopic, misinformed, hateful writer. I think a lot of us out here would simply like to know about the restaurant. We don't have to hate everything new, everything imperfect, everything not like New York, everything she hates.

So many of these restaurateurs are struggling with the incredible task of just making it through the first year. Surely she learned along the way the responsibility her job carries. She's bad news. Please keep looking for a replacement.
Jesse Mendica
St. Ann

On second thought: I am the person from St. Louis who lives in Brooklyn and wrote after the first time I read one of Rose Martelli's articles.

I had jumped the gun. I was so irritated with her article that day that I couldn't control myself. For weeks I thought she hated everything. I have been reading her articles now for months and I just want to apologize for reacting so quickly when I read that first one. I understand more how Martelli writes now and even appreciate -- last week especially -- that she critiques exactly what is in front of her, which is good.

At our house we live by the "three strikes you're out" rule. And sometimes you make the first strike for us, which saves us time and energy. We may never ever agree on the St. Louis Soy Products Café, and we probably couldn't agree more on last week's restaurant. But I just want Martelli to know that I appreciate her articles a lot.
Stephanie Silhavy
Brooklyn, New York

Editor's note: Ms. Silhavy did write to us back in January. We're mortified now to see that her letter got buried under a heap of (virtual) correspondence and never saw print. Here it is:

How does she do it? I first noticed Rose Martelli's column when I started searching for new and interesting places to eat that I could send my family to ["Lofty Aspirations," January 19]. I am from St. Louis and live in Brooklyn and visit home about four or five times a year. When I read Martelli's review of the St. Louis Soy Products Café, I knew I had to send a letter because even though it was a positive review, all she seemed to write about was how godawful disgusting it was. It's great that I know the place she's writing about, know that it's good -- took my entire family there, had a great time and a great meal.

How does Martelli come upon the restaurants she reviews? Does she go to one and call it a week, tell everyone how she hates it and not try to find another that might be good? Or does she specifically look for what she hates in each establishment? Or better yet, would she prefer that all your readers only eat at McDonald's and other predictable and safe places that might deliver to exactly what you expect?

I am so confused by Martelli's writing, and she is such a crab-ass that I'm glad she doesn't like any of the restaurants she reviews, because I won't have to run into her in any of those restaurants!
Stephanie Silhavy
Brooklyn, New York

We misspelled the name of St. Louis guitar legend Bennie Smith in last week's installment of Timothy Lane's You Are Here.

Additionally, in "Slay Bells Ring," Kristen Himan's March 9 news story about Mayor Francis Slay's re-election campaign, we erred in stating that the St. Louis mayor made an appointment to the Board of Police Commissioners. The board consists of the mayor and four fellow commissioners appointed by the governor of Missouri. Governor Matt Blunt appointed Chris Goodson to the board.

So you're an able-bodied man-slash-woman about town. You see the sights, you hear things -- you're in the know about where to go, so to speak. You're also reliable, good with deadlines, and above all, you have a way with words. It is this last skill that will perhaps make you a chunk of change.

Care to flaunt your knowledge of St. Louis' nooks and crannies on these very pages in return for the semi-regular income a freelance writer makes? C'mon, shake and conjugate your moneymakers in the Night & Day section! Dash off a cover letter, pad your résumé and send writing samples to: Paul Friswold
Riverfront Times
6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63130

We'll be in touch. Kisses!

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