Your recently acquired "Mouth of the Columbia," in his Sept. 10 article ("JP's menu is both overboard and underwhelming," Coast Weekend), designated himself as "pretentious," a truism to which I would add "stodgy."

A while back, he praised being given room-temperature water as if it were a sine qua non rather than a personal idiosyncracy. It was not worth mention, being readily available by request (as my wife's asthma made necessary for her).

Currently, he cited a "strict rule" never to combine cheese and seafood. Yet my 60-year-old "Gourmet Cookbook" lists fish among the uses of cheesy Mornay sauce, and several of its seafood recipes include cheeses, one, specifically, being "au gratin."

The same book praises "good cooks who ... improvise, create or adapt" recipes, which are not "so sacred" as to be individually adjustable. The Mouth pretends his ultra-refined sensitivities are inviolable dicta, imposed indiscriminately.

Bill Pappas is well within the bounds of gastronomic inventiveness, which does not necessitate his foibles being universally acceptable nor deserving of such uncouth condemnation. Certainly, there is some significance in JP's continuing popularity and its survival, while other restaurants (and their reviewers) have come and gone, some quite speedily.

PAUL YEAROUT

Gearhart

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