LETTERS to the editor 

Responding to "A Good Laugh"

Responding to a Good Laugh

I read Mr. Strauss' scathing remarks about his experience at Trattoria Lucca with great disappointment. ("A Good Laugh," Letters, Nov. 5) I hope he will accept my invitation to return to Lucca as my guest. I would also like to offer my own perspective on his complaints.

While Mr. Strauss certainly has the right to disagree with Jeff Allen's review of Lucca, his implication that I wrote or even influenced the review is offensive, malicious, and completely absurd. ("Good as Grandma's," Oct. 29) In addition, nowhere in his letter did Mr. Strauss mention that his visit was within the second week of our opening on a busy Saturday night. Within the first months of a restaurant's birth, there are countless details to resolve, and while the majority of our guests have had pleasurable and delectable experiences, I regret that his party experienced a few missteps.

I have discussed the letter with my staff, and I now understand that the party's reservation was for five and not seven people originally, hence the clumsy change of table. To accommodate the larger party, the group was asked, not told, to move to what many of our guests believe is the best table in the house. It is regrettable that the menu seemed confusing to the group because it is really quite simple and designed to offer guests a range of options. We have a variety of antipasti that can be ordered as single items or in combinations of three or six items on a plate. As for the dim lighting and the saltiness of the food, these are areas of subjectivity. I season food aggressively, train my staff to do the same, and we have been very successful doing so. Always tell your server if you desire less salt; these things can be fixed easily.

On to the triggerfish: this was absolutely our mistake, and I can only apologize to the lady of honor for our oversight. As for the waitress' misfortune in dropping a glass of wine, this was purely an accident, and as regrettable as it may be, these things do happen occasionally. The "manager-looking man" Mr. Strauss refers to is, indeed, the manager of Lucca, Adam Verona, who in my estimation was responding to the situation exactly as I would expect — expressing the wish that an unhappy party would give us another chance.

I am thrilled by the positive response to Mr. Allen's review, and I believe that we have an excellent restaurant based on the full dining room every night of the week. I am pretty sure that Mr. Strauss will not accept my offer to dine here with his wife as my guest to show him that Mr. Allen's review was accurate and justified, but I would like to extend the offer anyhow.

Ken Vedrinski
Trattoria Lucca

A Reason to Hope

In response to Nick Smith's article about our work study student, Keywi Terry, I cannot express how valuable he is to our center on Meeting Street. ("A Good Read," Nov. 5)

Every one of our literacy students arrives with a history of challenges, many of which readers might find insurmountable. Yet they still come, because at the end of the day, there still is hope. Creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere is critical to our success, but Keywi exemplifies the upbeat enthusiasm necessary for optimism and purpose.

Keywi did not tell you that he also works two other part-time jobs: one in a physician's office, the other in a Market Street restaurant. After your article came out, he got into a conversation with one of his customers about the City Paper. When the couple paid their bill, they handed him an additional $25 and asked to sponsor a student at Trident Literacy for a year.

We all thank you for sharing the value of our program and highlighting one of the many outstanding members of our mission. We all work to raise the standards of the tricounty through education. It's a community wanting to grow.

Beth Warner
Site manager, T.C. Drayton Center
Trident Literacy Association

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