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An Attitude about Lattitude

August 19, 2010

I usually try to be pretty nice when discussing restaurants on this blog.  After all, I’m not a professional critic, I’m just some weirdo who takes pictures at restaurants.  But I’d like to work on being more true to myself so I am screwing up a little courage and I am going to tell you exactly what I thought about Lattitude.  I will preface it by saying I have only been to this restaurant twice and maybe that’s not enough to get a true feel for the place.  But this was my impression on this particular night based on what we ordered.

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Tomato and Basil Pesto Rolled Mozzarella Salad

This first dish I had is probably causing my strongest desire to rant.  On the menu, the logo for E. Cecchi Farms is prominently displayed next to the title and I wonder if they or Lattitude should be more embarrassed by it.  It’s the middle of August and there should be good tomatoes to be had right now.  This was not a good tomato.  It was pink, and not because it was some nice pink heirloom variety.  The texture was grainy as if it had been refrigerated.  And see that “drizzle” of balsamic reduction?  That’s no drizzle.  That’s a deluge.  As I cut it all up to eat, the balsamic absolutely pooled around everything, pretty much completely hiding the color and flavor of the sub-par tomato. 

Here’s the thing.  Maybe yesterday E. Cecchi didn’t have any good tomatoes to provide.  Maybe they are having a rough season like I am with my garden.  Maybe that pale, colorless, flavorless orb was the best they had to offer.  It happens.  But if it does, then the restaurant should not be featuring it.  So, the question is, why did they?  Does the public just demand a caprese-like salad at this time of year and they are going to provide it whether it is any good or not?  Do they think if they bury it in enough balsamic, I won’t notice?  Well, I did notice and I wasn’t amused. 

I didn’t take a picture of my husband’s mussels appetizer because you probably know what mussels look like.  And granted, the description did note the sausage prominently: “Mussels with Chorizo, Garlic and Sweet Onions, Whole leaf basil, oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, white wine.”  But, the rest of the description really doesn’t matter because all the broth tasted like was sausage. 

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Celery Salt Crusted Tuna

Here’s my entree, a cornucopia of stuff that may or may not have gone together.  The best part?  Something that was out of season – tempura asparagus.  But hey, what doesn’t taste good dipped in batter in fried?  The main dish itself – the tuna – was prepared correctly as I ordered it.  It was rare with just a slight sear all around the edges.  But, the celery salt crust was way too salty and I found myself eventually cutting pieces of fish out of the middles of the slices.  Unfortunately, the tuna itself while fresh, was not particularly flavorful.  The pickled watermelon and pineapple salsa was incredibly sour.  The menu said the sauce was a sriracha aioli but the texture and appearance was more like the balsamic from the tomato dish.  The taste was sweet and sour.  My overall impression was that there was just a little too much going on to not much effect.

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My husband chose the Grilled Massachusetts Line Caught Black Grouper.  I didn’t know there even was any grouper in Massachusetts so I tried to find out more about it online today.  I was a little bit shocked to find out that the Environmental Defense Fund calls the fish an “Eco-Worst Choice.”  Mmm, yum, elevated mercury levels AND poor sustainability practices. Ah, just as well because the fish was bland as hell.  Good thing my husband at least enjoyed the whipped white sweet potatoes with lobster demi.  I noticed on Lattitude’s website this evening that the grouper had been replaced with Pan Roasted Nantucked Striped Bass.  Interesting.

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I’m a dessert lover so I hoped to finish the meal on a high point.  I was tempted by the chocolate covered bacon (no, really!) but went conservative and chose the peach cobbler instead.  The house made vanilla ice cream on top was fantastic, and the baked peaches themselves were delightful.  The crumbly topping though, like the crust on the tuna, was way too salty. 

It’s interesting to note that on this particular Tuesday night, Lattitude was hopping.  We didn’t think we’d need a reservation but when we showed up at 6:00, we could only be seated in the bar and would have had to wait until 8:00 to be seated in the restaurant.    So, people are liking this place.  Maybe it’s just me, but I expected better.

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. bipharma permalink
    August 19, 2010 4:05 am

    As u said no ur not a food critic…I have enjoyed all the meals u have had in the past many times and everytime its been amazing. Yes they are always busy and for a fine dining resturant u should always make a reservation. I go to lattitude three times a week the service is amazing as is the food and decor …

  2. August 19, 2010 4:04 pm

    I trust your opinion. You wouldn’t say anything negative if it wasn’t true. Guess it’s possible they were having an off night.

  3. killercoconut permalink
    August 19, 2010 4:24 pm

    That tomato thing would really bother me. There is no excuse for having a nasty tomato for dinner. You can see from the picture it isn’t any good. You can also see from the picture that there is way, way, way too much balsamic on there. Especially if it’s reduced.

    @Bipharma, clearly “u” are no restaurant critic either. I call shenanigans on anybody who claims to eat at a place three times a week. Drink at the bar three (or six) times a week, maybe.

    As far as being “nice”, I don’t see any reason a person can’t make honest observations about dining experiences and still be “nice”. It’s merely reportage.

  4. patricia weldon permalink
    August 19, 2010 5:16 pm

    Well…first of all I trust anything you would write on restaurant visits. You are always fair.
    Second, Bipharma..I don’t believe you there 3 times a week either.
    Next, I would like to say that the tomato dish was just nasty looking drowning in Balsamic with weakly color tomato. The main course had way too much “stuff” and was not very appetizing piled in a heap. As far as dessert..what is with the messy dish it is in? It should not be served with all the mess around the edges. Good restaurants clean plate and bowl edges before serving.

  5. Crazychef permalink
    August 19, 2010 7:31 pm

    I have another thing to offer on her meal here. She starts off by saying she is not a professional in any way. Each person has there own tastes in life as we all are aware of. I can say with great confidence that this restaurant is far and away one of the best in western mass. You cant please everyone in life, but for the amount of times that I have eaten here being a professional chef key word “professional” I have not had a bad experience. I dont eat here 3 times a week or even once a week, but I can say when I want a great meal with my wife this is the first restaurant that comes to mind.

    In this world of web and online everyone can throw there 2 cents in if they have a bad experience or dont like something about something, i thinks its horrible to post something online about a restaurant when you have no “professional” experience in the field of food. There are always going to be people who jump on a negative nancys bandwagon and they too are stupid too, esp if they have never been to said place themselves.

    Camera work by the way is not of top quality either. Not that I am a professional there but there is no flash and pictures are grainy, if your going to take pictures and blog about restaurants in your free time from whatever else your “professuional job” is then dont you think you should invest in a better camera.

    Oh and by the way when you check on fish in the Atlantic also make sure you list the 30 other fish that are on that list . I can say this as I was a “Professional” in that industry also for a many numbers of years. The list also says that in large consumption of these products. A piece of fish high in mercury levels in the ocean does not translate to the same at the table.

    To us chefs and owners in this business something like this could be very hurtful to our bottom line, one bad review from a non critic/amatuer in life could lose lots of business. There are too many people who put stock into this type of bs online, you are just a person who felt you may have had a bad meal. Did you by chance speak to anyone about this at the restaurant? Manager, waitstaff, bartender on all these issues you seem to have had? Cause if you had I bet you that this would have had a different outcome story line. As I stated in the begining I am a “professional” and its my job to cater to each persons tastes and if you were unhappy with meal selections then you should have spoken up and made them aware of these issues you were having and given them a chance to rectify them before writing about it. We always want to please everyone we can, but at the same time we cant fix issues we dont know are going on, so shame on you for being quiet about it all and not notifying anyone of your displeasure

    • August 20, 2010 12:40 am

      Hi Crazychef –

      Thank you for your comments. As you are a professional chef, I really do value them. I’d like for you to know that I took those pictures with my cell phone without a flash. And there is a reason for that – I am trying to be respectful of the place of business and not cause a big distraction.

      I’d also just like to point out that I prefaced this by saying this was just my impression on this particular night. I did point out positives. I never said anything was inedible or terrible, just that I was disappointed. And no, I didn’t send it back because again, I didn’t want to make a fuss. I went in with good expectations. I wanted the food to be great.

      As for the fish, it is not just about mercury. It is also about sustainable fishing methods. I thought most fine dining establishments at this point would be more careful about sustainability. You mention there are 30 other fish on the Eco-Worst choice list – but there are 33 fish on the Eco-Best choice list. Why not choose one of those?

      Say what you will about my negative comments but this is a free country with protected free speech. My comments are no different, and in fact probably far less harmful than what is posted all the time on sites like Yelp that are seen by thousands. Is it fair? Maybe not. But when you go out there with your business and serve the public, that is the risk you take.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Please take a look at my previous post on Venus. It was very positive. Funny how that post didn’t generate nearly as many comments.

      • crazychef permalink
        August 20, 2010 4:52 am

        1.As for the fish, it is not just about mercury. It is also about sustainable fishing methods. I thought most fine dining establishments at this point would be more careful about sustainability. You mention there are 30 other fish on the Eco-Worst choice list – but there are 33 fish on the Eco-Best choice list. Why not choose one of those?

        Answer:
        What does every other restaurant have? All those other fish in the world. Also each time i have been there they have different fish all the time which leads me to beleive that they use only the freshest product
        And not to mention that the federal government/any federal agency is about 5 yrs behind on reporting the actual numbers of fish and sustanability. Its a joke really how far behind all of them are, ask a fisherman who knows one day they will tell you

        2. And no, I didn’t send it back because again, I didn’t want to make a fuss.

        Answer to this:
        Then again shame on you. In any place I have ever been, its not about sending back the food but also getting what you paid for and thought you ordered. You write your opinion under what you call freedom of speech, yes we all are americans and have that free right of debate and free speech. If you are so opinionated then why not choose to use it when it matters, like maybe when the food was not up to what you thought it was at the time of the meal. You cant throw out the first ammendment in one case and not use it in another. It makes you hippocritical.

        You have the right to post whatever your heart desires of course and I am sure there will be more people whom come to your rescue from us industry professionals. We are at the mercy of our guests for almost everything for wine being a degree to high to under/overcooked meals, but what our industry does better and faster than anything is fix that problem if it occurs. Nobody is perfect from fine dining to sports bars, if so we would not need critics or bloggers. Your other reviews are not of my concern, this happened to be a restaurant that I am well aware of is much better than you gave it any credit for. Granted its one persons opinion but all you need is to infect one other person whom has never stepped foot into this place and they tell 5 people and so on and so on. Your opinion could be hurtful to many employees who rely on customers to keep coming throught the door. I am just tired of people having to blog this type of crap on a regualr basis instead of giving the restaurant a chance to fix issues. WE WANT TO KNOW FOLKS

  6. bipharma permalink
    August 19, 2010 7:39 pm

    U can believe what u want I go three times a week…lunch dinner or a adult beverage, whatever if that’s the point u have issues with fine. the bottom line don’t attack one of the best restaurants in our area without valid facts. its a great place they have won a ton of awards from critics and its unfortunate u feel u have to bash someone’s place of business.

    • August 20, 2010 12:47 am

      The fact is that I was there and this is my opinion. I’m allowed to have one too. Thanks for adding to the lively commentary on this post. I am glad you enjoy Lattitude so much and are supporting our local economy.

  7. theoneandonly permalink
    August 19, 2010 11:11 pm

    You may want to rethink your style, my friend. Your not a food critic. Your a picky eater.

    As a professional photographer, I am wondering where the post-meal photos ended up? You had no issues “documenting this tragedy of a meal” but, *gasp* where are the after shots? No, really?! What happened to the meal…oh. You ate it. Probably every last drop.

    Interesting.

    I love Lattitude, I eat there often. And, by the way, I know bipharma, and I can attest that she is a regular customer of this restaurant. She is the one who introduced it to me. I bring my family there — my brother who is a chef loves it and won’t eat anywhere else when he’s in the area.

    Look, we all get to have our opinions. And mine of Lattitude is very positive. Sucks you had a bad experience, but why do you have to rant and rave about something you don’t know anything about? I’d like the staff and owner of Lattitude to blog about YOUR place of business and your livelihood. It’s not cool. It’s not appropriate and I am unimpressed.

    My nana would remind you, if you have nothing nice to say, keep your pie hole shut.

  8. August 20, 2010 12:39 am

    What the???

    It’s just an opinion, you guys. No need to attack the person giving an honest account of her experience.

  9. August 20, 2010 12:41 am

    So now only professional restaurant critics can offer an opinion on a restaurant’s fair? That’s just ridiculous.

    Even restaurants that we love have an off night. And clearly, by the photos, this restaurant was having an OFF night. I would have been very annoyed to have received the food that she clearly received. That much balsamic on ANYTHING would be too much, let alone weak tomatoes.

    What all these other commenters seem to forget is that a) this is YOUR space on the web, b) this was YOUR experience at this restaurant and c) If they truly love Lattitude, then by all means, write a glowing review on Yelp, OpenTable, or Google.

    This author had the facts – she ate the meal. She offered a fair and balanced critique of food placed in front of her. Whether you like her critique or not, it does not change the fact that things written herein are *opinion* – something that you’ve straight up admitted is your opinion. Dear bipharma, not once did this author claim to be writing anything other than her opinion after a visit to this restaurant.

    Food is subjective. Maybe you love Lattitude. Good for you, and good for Lattitude. But every restaurant – EVERY RESTAURANT – has room for improvement. Maybe they’ll see this, and take away some things they could do differently.

    As for the photos – duh. No respectful person is going to drag their DLSR to a fine dining restaurant and start snapping away with EVO lights in place to get the best possible photo. These photos were clearly taken with her cell phone, which, I find, a respectful way to show what you were served without intruding on other patrons. Anything else would have been over the top and rude to other people eating in the restaurant.

  10. August 20, 2010 1:12 am

    You had me at bad tomatoes. In my humble opinion as a client of an establishment..restaurants should stop serving tomatoes entirely in lieu of EVER offering, for a price, the crap that is available in mass supply.

    Now regarding the back and forth. Hmm, first of all I don’t see ranting; I see someone who has paid for her food writing her commentary. Last I checked, she had the First Amendment protecting that right to write. She could have said a lot worse and still…have a right to say it. YOU have an equal right to not read it, you know?

    We must not be reading the same post, I see a review by someone who has paid for a meal, is not happy with it and has written a post on…oh yeah HER BLOG.

    You see a diatribe of gargantuan proportions that is now threatening to put a restaurant out of business as a result. Chill…considering you and your friends are there multiple times a week and OK with subpar food; sounds like they’ll do fine!

  11. August 20, 2010 1:23 am

    Okay jumping into the fray. I don’t know you, have never read your blog, saw the tweet and thought I’d come by and take a look.

    My first thought upon looking at your blog was, I hope she’s not going to talk about how good that tomato dish is because those tomatoes are massed produced green picked and gassed to redness gross tomatoes. I know tomatoes, my father in law grew them as a farmer for 40 years. Those are mass produced no getting around it.

    I was then appalled to read that a farm has a logo on the menu. Huh? If it were my farm, I’d be embarrassed by the idea that these were my farm raised tomatoes. Not even close.

    Yes, your photographs are bad. Yes, they were taken with a cell phone. But come on people. Anyone who calls themselves professional has to admit these are bad tomatoes.

    As far as the rest of the review. Eh. As a food blogger you probably should take a look at http://foodethics.wordpress.com/ and think about how you couch your comments as far as restaurants go. In this economy especially, an unkind word can go viral and ruin a lot of peoples lives.

    However, you have an opinion and it does count. There are people out there that will try to diminish your voice and call you names. Don’t let them. Stand up for your reviews and don’t let the mean people keep you from voicing your opinion.

    A mention to the management, is always a good place to start when you’re disappointed by a meal.

  12. Nancy permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:33 am

    That is truly one of the most revolting looking meals I have ever seen. Start being honest about the food- always.

    • crazychef permalink
      August 20, 2010 4:13 am

      See this is the type of idiots that jump on the bandwagon.
      What looks terribly disgusting here honestly, do you eat at burger king often.

      • killercoconut permalink
        August 20, 2010 12:17 pm

        I’m pretty sure an actual professional chef would be aware of the phenomenon of food blogging and online reviews in 2010 and act professionally in response to them, instead of taking a review so personally. Don’t visit yelp, for god sake, you’ll have a heart attack.

        It is disappointing, because somewhere in the personal attacks, name calling and hysteria, you make some good points that could be used to educate diners and food writers.

        The bottom line is that the woman paid for her dinner and wasn’t satisfied and she honestly and objectively reported her experience. She isn’t responsible for the employees or the business. The restaurant is, and they should serve every meal to every patron as if that patron were a food critic.

        I have had experiences where I blogged about or reviewed a dining experience unfavorably and the management contacted me personally to get more details so that they could correct the problem for future patrons/visits. That is what I would consider a professional. Not someone who resents and belittles the people that keep them in business.

  13. August 20, 2010 1:38 am

    Jennifer, you had an experience that didn’t meet your expectations. You are entitled to share that opinion. It doesn’t mean that anyone who reads it needs to agree with you. What you find enjoyable I might not. And what I like may be intolerable to you. It doesn’t make either of our opinions more right or less right. They are what they are.

    On this night, this was your experience. I’m sorry it was the one you had hoped for.

  14. August 20, 2010 3:32 am

    Except for the tuna mishmash, the stuff *looks* okay to me, but it sounds really disappointing. Hope it wasn’t hugely expensive.

  15. bipharma permalink
    August 20, 2010 4:30 pm

    Subpar food…..really come on now …Jennifer I agree its ur opinion and u r free to share ur experience. I personally think they have great food and I like to give my business to local privately owned business. If u had a unpleasant meal u really should talk to the place of business about it, not talk about it online. They would have gone out of their way to correct any wrong doings . I just hope u give them a fair chance, as they are new and local. And very much above Subpar…that’s just ridiculous, u said previously u enjoyed lattitude.

    • killercoconut permalink
      August 20, 2010 5:36 pm

      Bipharma,

      If you want people to take you seriously, you really should try words and sentences. They are like magic in that regard.

      Also, I’m sure you are aware that every time you click back on this entry, or leave a comment, or tell your friends (Hi, theoneandonly!) and they click on it or leave a comment, all you are doing is increasing the odds that the next time somebody searches online for Latitude, they are going to come across this post. And frankly, I don’t think your rambling, defensive, semi-literate comments are going to convince them to rush down there. In other words, you are trying to help, but you are doing the opposite.

  16. crazychef permalink
    August 20, 2010 5:33 pm

    I am very aware of this type of online bashing that has taken place. Its the same thing no matter what site you go too. In this business we make it or break on reputation, no matter what we give away or thousands we spend on advertising to get you in the door. The same thing rings true from when dining out became the biggest thing since sliced white bread. We are here to please the customer, to do such things we need feedback at time of incident or in restaurant, not blogging online about it. Who does that help??? It gives people whom have never been there doubt when they had no reason too previously. Who cares about eco friendly fish, she forgot to mention tuna which she ate is also on that list, but everyone serves that so no big deal right. She mixed opinion with facts, and when you state facts state them all not pick and choose.

    I never once called her any names but I think that by not alerting someone of her seemed displeasure at time of serv ice does not give her much to complain about after the fact.
    In the world of friendships this would be considered two faced right??? So why not treat it like it seems to be is my point. Now if she had brought it to the attention of the establishment I bet you a dinner there that the blog would have had a better tone to it.But by blindsiding someone when they don’t complain or are not pleased is cowardly in my eyes. Most people don’t see how we see it and that’s fine, to each there own.
    I usually find about 6 things wrong about a place when I dine out with my family as I know what to look for and what I expect from each establishment, but I don’t go online and possibly hurt that persons place as it is not my place. If I have an issue with food I bring it up to my server and if serious enough management as that is what they are there for. It recently happened to me in newport,ri of all places. They did everything to make sure that the situation was rectified, even having there chef come out and speak with me as they saw I knew what I was talking about.

    She again did not give them a chance at all and that is what is annoying to me. Now who knows what that one person reading this with a party of 30 says “well hun look at this about lattitude, I think we should go someplace else cause of what she has said” now do the math here let’s say its 30 people at 50 a head, that business owner just lost 1500 dollars in revenue, wait staff loses 270 at 18%. That’s crazy over a blogger with no restaurant backround or qualifcations in culinary arts being able to do such things. Its the reason that frankly a lot of restaurants have closed besides a bad economy and people spending less as they are making less.

    That’s how restaurant owners/chefs see reviews from unqualified bloggers or non indusrty professionals, sometimes we live by them and a lot of times we die by them. Either way this is giving lattitude press and from what I saw last night they had a wait out the door at 6pm, so it seems either way people are going to see if the meal she had was ringing true or not

    • August 20, 2010 5:56 pm

      CrazyChef, like it or not, the internet and blogging gives people a voice that they have never had before.

      Instead of trying to stifle that, restaurants should take it into account.

      And you know what? She is a professional. She’s a professional food blogger. She knows about food. Her training may be different than yours, but that does preclude her from having an appropriate opinion about food placed in front of her by a restaurant as a paying patron.

      Get off your high horse. Everyone eats food. Not everyone knows the difference between good food and bad food, but if you bothered reading the rest of this blog, I think you might realize that this author is not one of them. She immerses herself in food in very similar ways to what you do.

      Really what I think is going on here with you is that you feel threatened by the fact that someone without the same training can also have a respected opinion. Get over it. The world is changing.

      • crazychef permalink
        August 21, 2010 2:46 am

        Amber i wish i had a horse to ride in the first place, please i dont have to get over anything. Yes her training and my training are different of course. But when you put facts in with opinions you should not pick and choose the facts you want in. The fish for example is a good one, no mention about the tuna on that same list of eco worst, but since everyone does it its ok by her right??? Facts are facts and opinions, if your going to say one fact them put them all in.

        Also killercoconut, you clearly dont know what its like to own a restaurant or be in a high stressed position. Everything is personal. When a dish breaks or a glass breaks its not are you ok in your head its shit i just lost 18 dollars. The mental angusih that is put on restaurant owners and there chefs(in the good places) would make people most people cry. If you have no idea what its like you should not comment on it is all I am saying. I am a professional and not attacking jennifer personally at all, i just dont think its proper in the way she handled what she called subpar or a disapointing meal. If it was that to her then thats what it will be, but she was not tactfull at all by alerting anyone of her displeasure and then blogging about it. It is cowardly. Again as I stated i drove by said restaurant and they looked very busy at 6pm on a thurs night. I know that they will be fine over all this as thier product is top notch.

  17. bipharma permalink
    August 20, 2010 8:41 pm

    Killer nut…I respond on a smart phone that might be a magical device to someone in their 50’s (oh sorry fifties) but spelling out words like you and are tend to waste my time. But thanks for your rude and immature comments. I hope you and your best friend have fun. Oh and thanks for explaining to me about my semi-literate rants….your big words were way to much for this medical professional.
    Jennifer A I wish you luck with your food adventures, just a little food for thought to tell the people who can fix it before posting it online.

  18. Amber permalink
    August 21, 2010 1:11 am

    90% of my online communications are through my smart phone. Never will you see me use ‘u’ instead of you or 2 instead of ‘to’. Anything worth saying is worth saying with correct grammar and syntax. If you don’t want to be mistaken for a texting 13-year-old, don’t communicate like one.

  19. August 21, 2010 2:45 am

    Wow, what a maelstrom you’ve stirred up! I find it very interesting that it is only the negative commenters here that can’t be bothered to check the spelling and grammar before posting a comment about which the person obviously feels so strongly! One of the folks claiming to be a professional even misspelled that word at one point! I agree with Ms. Coconut that it causes the commenter to appear uneducated, and in my opinion, unprofessional. By the way, I am commenting from a mobile device as well!

  20. Sandi permalink
    August 22, 2010 1:40 am

    My, my, my, what a mess Jennifer has created here! I read the blog a few days ago and came back to find this disaster going on. I felt the post was fair and honest. Opening with a statement that she was not a professional, and this was her opinion only. I found both negatives and positives, and nothing that I would consider “ranting and raving”. And, FYI – Jennifer was not the person to call the food “subpar”, that was one of the commenters. I valued her opinion, based on reading various other blogs, which is feel is extremely important in determining if you are dealing with someone who just likes to trash talk everything, or with someone who is honest and forthright. The fact that one commenter states that he/she doesn’t care about a previous review about Venus, only this one, shows that they did not take the time to do their own research before beginning their own tirade. But, although I value her opinion, one small blog report is not going to keep me from trying out Lattitude. If I really want to find out if a place is good, or bad, I will research various webistes and posts to see what a variety of people have to say about it.

    I have no “education in the culinary arts”, but I can cook a mean dinner that gets good reviews from my family. The fact that I eat food on a daily basis makes me somewhat of an expert. As a matter of fact, I’ve never been so dedicated to anything in my life as I am to eating food every day. Can’t even get myself to excersice once a week, let alone daily, but boy can I eat! Yeah, I know good food, and I know bad food. Woohoo – I’m a professional!!!!

    One thing that kept coming up was why Jennifer did not send her food back. I have to say, I did that once because they put cooked onions on a wrap I got, and quite frankly, I didn’t like cooked onions. I got the same exact food returned to me, with a half – (you know what) attempt to scrape off the onions. And this was at one of our fine local establishments that is very popular and well liked. After that, I don’t send anything back because I have no idea what I’m going to get back. No telling if you are going to thoroughly offend someone… But this is all besides the point.

    With all that aside, I find it appalling that so many people bashed Jennifer for her opinion. After all, isn’t what you are writing just an opinion of Jennifer? If Jennifer is so wrong for having one, aren’t you? A far better response in the future would be a well thought out reply of a specific experience that you have had at said restaurant. Funny, I didn’t see any of those…..

    My Nana would be proud of what I just wrote. How would your Nana feel about your post?

  21. August 22, 2010 8:02 pm

    Hi Jen! I read all of your post but not all of the comments. Just too long. Anyway, I haven’t been to Lattitude, so I can’t say anything from personal experience with that particular restaurant, however, I can say that most restaurants in Western Mass have bland bland bland food! I’m shocked at how terribly boring everything is, especially when everyone seems to rave about how good it is. My professional chef boyfriend and I have come to the conclusion that taste preferences out here lean very strongly to the bland side.

    Your photos, while low quality, are still able to capture the ridiculous proportions of the ingredients in the dishes. If I received something that looked like that, especially in a “fine dining” establishment, I’d send it back. And a good restaurant checks to make sure their ingredients are top-notch before putting them on the menu. This means fresh, seasonal produce, fish is sustainably-caught or raised and either fresh or flash-frozen and flown in (and they would never use something on the “worst choice” list), and meat is fresh and relatively locally-grown.

    I may end up trying Lattitude some day, just as I plan to try all the “nice” restaurants around here. But I like having an honest review from a fellow blogger before I head in to things. I am also aware that I have so far only found ONE restaurant in the area that had any real flavor, and it is The Garden Indian restaurant in Agawam. And that’s pretty much because I’ve yet to find bland Indian food. Although I’m sure if I did, it would be in Western Mass, where regional tastes are…well, tasteless.

    I do not think it is fair for people to bash your opinion, even if they disagree. It is your blog, where you write about your food experiences – that includes restaurants. People do it on InsiderPages all the time, and sometimes the best reviews come from non-professionals.

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