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Re: Bella's Cuisine 

A friend of mine handed me the Jan. 18 write up about Bella's Cuisine ("Too much on its plate") by Elizabeth Shestak. She was very upset about the trashing of Bella's done by Ms. Shestak in that column. I was in disbelief about what I read and passed the page on to several other people who we dine together with at Bella's frequently. Everyone was appalled by what they read.

My husband and I introduced a group of 13 friends to Bella's for lunch with us a couple of weeks ago. Every one of them was happy with their food, the atmosphere and the attention received, and grateful to us for introducing them to a new restaurant that they will return to. Several have already done that with friends that they introduced to Bella's.

Ms. Shestak's advice to Claudia Barragan, chef/ owner, formerly with Magnolia Grill, is, "Unless you're The Cheesecake Factory, you have no business being open that many meals each week." She advised Claudia to focus on dishes she does best. That is exactly what Claudia does. One's cup of tea, so to speak, may not be the choice of another. The diversity of food choices on her menus is unique and refreshing to find in one restaurant serving fine food. I find it curious that Ms. Shestak wrote such a scathing review when so many people are raving about Bella's.

Harriet Sander
Durham

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