Member since Dec 19, 2009



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Re: “Pass the Salt

I find this review to be rather bizarre. First of all, saltiness is not the only flavor on anyone's palate, but it is virtually they ONLY flavor ever mentioned in this review. This is made worse by the fact that quality of Italian cuisine is rarely measured by its saltiness. If I asked a friend about how a pesto, alfredo, or meat sauce tasted and received a response that focused on salt content, I would be fairly confused. I'd expect to hear about texture, balance, and savoriness before saltiness.

That being said, even given this reviewer's salt obsession there are certain aspects that seem strange... i.e. "The gnocchi tasted as though the water it was cooked in was not salted (a big no-no when it comes to pasta)". So basically an Italian chef forgot how to cook pasta? Please describe exactly what gnocchi tastes like when the water is unsalted... is it just less salty? harder? softer? or is the mention of some alleged unsalted water supposed to be informative as to how the dish actually tasted?

How about "none of the side dishes had ever seen a flake of salt." Mind telling us what the side dishes were? How about their non-salt based qualities like texture, savoriness, sweetness, etc?

Regarding the server... she was too attentive? Did she refill your water too many times? I sincerely doubt most reviewers consider an especially attentive wait-staff to be a negative attribute in a restaurant. Perhaps you could have asked her whether this chef used kosher salt, or how much, since you opine as to how 'most' chefs use it (the implication being this chef did not, despite no evidence being given).

It seems to me that this article is a series of pot-shots at the chef, implying at various points that he is inexperienced, inept, or sloppy. I have eaten several times at Amici's and each time I had some of the best Italian cuisine I've ever ordered. I am very appreciative of the amount of salt, especially on the gnocchi Sorrento. Who in their right mind wants a salty pesto sauce? it ought to be creamy and rich (characteristics whose presence or absence are unmentioned throughout this review)

What really bothered me was this line, "The kitschy Italian decor and loud Italian music were not helping matters". I have a very difficult time discerning voices from background noise, and music playing at restaurants almost always disables me from following conversations. In fact, I'd say this is the first thing I note when eating at a new restaurant. Amici's music is no-where near loud enough to impair even my ability to hear my companions, and faded nicely into the background. This is something I'm very picky about, and I can hardly imagine how loud you must find other restaurants in Tucson to be.

Also, you could have asked your waitress about the decor; I think you'd find several of the art pieces are authentic/reproduced Italian works. Though I suppose it would be hard for you to call the pieces 'kitschy' in that light.

Posted by ErikB on 12/19/2009 at 4:42 PM

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