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We opened the TapHouse Grill as a new concept for Shockoe Slip. Many things in Randall Stamper's review were observant and some comments I agree with … but what's the negative tone about?

I just spent a pack of money to open a restaurant of which we are very proud. It is always unfortunate when someone does not like the soup or has missed our process of making things from scratch, but when observations are just inaccurate, then what's the point of the review?

If you are not crazy about the food that is one thing. But why suggest that we don't use a roux when we do, or suggest that we use a healthy dose of file when we do not.

I have been in the restaurant business 25 years and have always been very indifferent to reviewers who write as if they outflank the public. Fortunately our customers like the soup and have continued to come back.

We would be happy to offer Mr. Stamper a cooking class so his future comments might be more educated. By the way, this was not, nor has it ever been, a tobacco warehouse (mostly produce).

Michael Byrne

Owner, TapHouse Grill



No Roux, Rubes

I am a student at The Culinary Institute of America and former Richmond resident. I was amused by your recent article/"review" of TapHouse. I myself have never been there, because I am in New York, but that guy is an uneducated food critic.

Some of the things he said are just plain stupid: "I jumped at the New Orleans Gumbo ($5.25). … It was loaded with chunks of this and that, but the base certainly didn't seem to be constructed from a roux."

If it had a roux and okra it would have been the consistency of a milkshake. It is people like him who make people think that our town is a bunch of uneducated, redneck, trailer-park trash.

Kris Plummer



Let's Be Discriminating

Regarding "Group Starts Second Hispanic Chamber": I can't believe Marcelo Cornicello wants to fight the DMV's proposal to make drivers-license regulations more stringent, which would leave many Hispanics unable to obtain identification, he says. Was he not around 9/11? Why not make DMV regulations more stringent? If you're not breaking the law, what do you have to hide?

He wants to fight the recent placement of Spanish signs in the James River Park that he considers discriminatory against Hispanics as litterers. No-littering signs in Spanish, discriminatory? What a joke. Other Hispanic groups push to have signs in Spanish (although a basic understanding of English would eliminate this problem).

Christian Sheppard



Don't Forget Museum District

In "Your Guide to the Neighborhoods" [Inside Richmond, Sept. 25], Wayne Melton does an admirable job giving the reader an overview of each of Richmond's unique and marvelous neighborhoods. He did, however, leave out one of the most significant … and if he had looked at any issue of Style, he would have seen it featured weekly .... not only mentioned in articles but also in the restaurant and real estate sections .... The Museum District!

Also known as West of the Boulevard, the Museum District is Virginia's fourth largest historic district, whose boundaries are the Boulevard (inclusive) to I-195 (Thompson Street) and Cary Street to Broad Street. Home to the Maury and Ashe monuments on Monument Avenue, this area was named the Museum District in honor of the four museums within its boundaries. It is most definitely a magnificent example of Richmond at its best!

Liz Forman



Based on your neighborhood guide, Chiocca's at the corner of Belmont and Kensington is not in the Fan. It is West of the Boulevard, in the newly named Museum District. The restaurant pictured may be Chiocca's Park Avenue Inn at 2001 Park Ave., which is in the Fan.

Point of interest: There used to be a Chiocca's in Carytown as well.

Roy Burgess

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