Leaving a Bad Taste
Tara Morgan's recent bipolar and surprisingly offensive review of A' Tavola, left me nearly speechless (BW, Food, "A 'Tavola," April 4, 2012). While the piece started with an objective and positive rendering of the space and services, it quickly turned somewhat personal and dare I say snarky? ... Yes, I do.
What shocked me is how she continued to casually slip in the notion that A' Tavola only caters to the "well-to do." It subtly suggests that it's too expensive for the "average" person. This is simply false and the repercussions of that notion are that it could alienate the Treasure Valley reader from taking in a fun and beautiful culinary experience.
I say "continue" because it's also something she notes in the Jan. 19, 2012, review--commenting on the types of vehicles in the parking lot. If she would have looked closely, she would have also seen my 1990 Toyota Land Cruiser with the rust on the bumper in that parking lot on that day and others. I, for one, am not "well-to do" (whatever that really means), and I love frequenting the store.
In my opinion, it is a celebration of good foods that, while a few items will tempt you to expand your range of tastes, also offers familiar dishes with a spin. And as a matter of reference, I can't recall when I haven't myself made a creamy chicken or potato salad that didn't have mayonnaise as an ingredient, and just because it does, I'd hardly describe it with contempt as "mayonnaise-laden."
Finally, it drove me crazy that Miss Morgan keeps only comparing A' Tavola with two places--Eataly and Dean & Deluca. In three separate articles about the store, she compares it to the Eataly in Manhattan--has she ever even been there? Exactly what percentage of readers does she think will find that a relevant comparison to judge by?
While I'm sure A' Tavola staff are happy to hear she chose such a lofty comparable, it's off base. I myself have never been, but from what I've seen online, the Eataly is a 50,000-square-foot market and is based on Italian cuisine. On the other hand A' Tavola is a small and comforting marketplace whose aim seems to be to give us all a place to truly revel in and enjoy what we eat. And more the better that Lisa and her staff genuinely welcome us to share their passion. Perhaps it would do the reporter some good to applaud new business and a refreshingly original (to Boise) establishment. This would be in reverse of misguidedly comparing it to a Swedish furniture store and an outdated grocery market with a deli and meat department. Really? Get over yourself and have a cookie.
I am not sure where you got your information on some of Garden City's background but in 1960, Garden City was and unincorporated village an there was no mayor. There was a chairman of the board of directors who happened to be my father, Joe Gowey. There was no pawn shop and no bar called T and A. It must be hard for someone who obviously lives in Riverside Village to comprehend that the working poor need somewhere to live also. And yes, Kerri, those people do vote and I suggest they vote to have you evicted from Garden City.
So Garden City isn't pretty enough for Texas transplant Kerri Hahn and her kitchen coven. (BW, Feature, "Desperate Housewife of Garden City," March 28, 2012.) She is so self-absorbed, the reporter describes her reckless driving while she decries the businesses on Chinden Boulevard that do not meet her aesthetic standards.
If the citizens of Garden City did not want tattoos, there would be no parlors. If they did not want "adult" material, there would be no adult book/video stores. If they found the stores and signs repulsive, the stores would go out of business.
Kerri and husband Brock/Brocky paid less for their tri-level near the Boise River than elsewhere. Did they wonder why? If you don't like Garden City, there is a simpler solution than a private annexation. Stay in your tri-level or move.
And if you and your pals succeed in seizing Garden City, which you will not, instead of a mangled French name or a tribute to a bad actor and shill for General Electric, I suggest a more appropriate name--Stepford.
Long has Garden City been the undeserving butt of April Fool's jokes and the point of the article is well taken. On the other hand, for those out there who do want to see our part of the metro area improve, stop by The Riverside Hotel. We are certainly doing our part for the improvement of the city.
We are sitting on 14 acres on the Boise River, and we have been working diligently over the last five months, since new local ownership bought the property from a conglomerate, to revamp and renovate. People are starting to take notice and we are hearing good things, and it would have been a much better article if your heroine had only said, "Garden City and us are fighting over who gets The Riverside Hotel!"
--Derek McElroy,general manager, The Riverside Hotel