An anonymous group of diners — or jokesters? — has some opinions on what local chefs should and shouldn’t be serving at their restaurants. Alden & Harlow and Waypoint owner and chef Michael Scelfo received an absurd anonymous letter recently, which he shared on Instagram, and the letter has found its way to at least one other local chef as well. (See update below.)
The senders have some notes (demands?) for Scelfo and presumedly Boston’s chefs in general, including a protestation to eliminate “salads with beets” from his menu. (It’s worth noting that neither Alden & Harlow nor Waypoint currently offers a beet salad — but hey, it’s 2019, and anyone can be criticized for literally anything, veracity notwithstanding.)
The senders also seem to have something against roast chicken — “good but we can buy it at every supermarket, or make it at home” — and oysters — “the thrill is gone and we’re thinking about Hepatitis and the Vibrio virus [sic] coming further north every year.” Nothing says “let’s eat!” like thoughts of viruses (which Vibrio is not, by the way — it’s bacteria).
Along with their list of criticisms, the flippant diners had an equally helpful list of suggestions, including “big stuffed clams served in the shell” (as opposed to those other stuffed clams that are served outside of the shell) because “think of the stuffing options.” Disappointingly, the senders did not provide a list of stuffing options.
The senders also suggested Scelfo ax grilled and steamed salmon from his menus — too boring! — and add various roasted vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms, because nothing says adventurous like roasted broccoli. To top it off, the senders also want to see more turkey on the menu. “Get creative,” they wrote. If there’s one thing diners are pining for, it’s to pay $37 for a couple slices of the worst holiday meat.
Scelfo told Eater via email that he thought the letter was “hilarious” and that he’s “not taking it personally.” See the letter for yourself below:
We are a group of diners who enjoy your restaurant, and because we dine out often we came up with a list of menu changes we would be happy to see at all restaurants.
THESE HAVE GOTTEN OLD. We’d be happy to see less of:
Bar drinks that have very strong tastes from too many ingredients
Bread dipped in oil and heavy fried foods as starters
Brussel [sic] sprouts
Salads with beets
Oysters (the thrill is gone and we’re thinking about Hepatitis and the Vibrio virus [sic] coming further north every year)
Roast chicken (good but we can buy it at every supermarket, or prepare it at home)
Grilled/steamed salmon (healthy but it’s getting to be boring)
WE’D LIKE TO SEE MORE OF:
Classic cocktails updated (there’s a reason they are classics)
Big stuffed clams served in the shell (think of the stuffing options)
Scallops with dipping sauce
Breads, crackers, chips, or crudités with spinach and other vegi. dips or warm cheese
Roasted/grilled — carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, scallions
Stuffed peppers (so many options from so many cuisines)
Healthy bowls and pokes (sometimes our stomachs need a rest)
Turkey (get creative)
Grilled Tuna and shark
Sliced steak platters to share
Dessert samplers (smaller sized with a choice of two or three)
Crepes and puddings
THANKS FOR READING
Update, May 3, 2019: Jody Adams (Trade, Porto, Saloniki) also received the letter. “I love it!” she told Eater via email. “I don’t know who wrote this is or whether or not they know how funny it is, but it has certainly given us all a few good laughs. Trending next: creative turkey stuffed peppers!”