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To read the original article by Bennett Fuson, click here

By: Vincent Dattolo

Dear Editor,

In a recent article titled, “Dattolo’s dresses up food court standards,” written by Bennett Fuson, I was disturbed to find misrepresentations, so-called facts that were blatantly untrue and snide comments that have no place in true reporting.

I would like to begin with the first error that should never have made it to print, as common fact finding and editing should have spotted this glaring error: the name of our restaurant is “Dattolo’s Ristorante and Pizzeria.” We do not call ourselves a restaurante, which I believe is an attempt at blending both English and Italian, and we definitely do not miss-spell pizzeria in our name! Even a novice reporter should use spell check and most importantly, get the name right when dishing on a local restaurant!

Secondly, the author, Mr. Fuson, continually refers to our restaurant as “Dattolo,” again, the inability to spell check or better yet, knowing the name of the restaurant on which you are reporting, was written in error. We are Dattolo’s, in the English language we commonly use an apostrophe and an s to denote ownership, and being that Dattolo is our last name and we have named our restaurant after ourselves, our name is thus Dattolo’s.

Now, if we can separate ourselves from these elementary errors for a moment, I would like to address the continual references to “food court standards” that appear throughout the article. Mr. Fuson was a guest in our restaurant during our lunch hours, which had thorough reporting been used in this article, would have been listed somewhere for the reader so that they too could come and join us during business hours.

However, I digress; Mr. Fuson was apparently at a loss when he joined us between the lunch hours of 11 am and 3 pm. We give our guests the option of either enjoying a sit-down luncheon with table service or our express self-serve lunch where one orders at the counter to expedite their meal. Mr. Fuson, as the article states, clearly chose the latter option. However, to my dismay, he failed to explain to the reader the option that he chose not to take was indeed available, instead he continually refers to my restaurant as a “food court” style dining experience, when, in truth, was the option he chose. Furthermore, Mr. Fuson apparently has never dined at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis, because I fear that if he had, he would be able to ascertain that indeed we are a pizzeria and do not claim to be, nor have we ever claimed to be, a five star dining experience. We want our guests to enjoy a genuinely Italian meal in a family-friendly atmosphere.

In the next paragraph of Mr. Fuson’s unedited article, I was astounded to find that Mr. Fuson stated that we have claimed to serve the best pizza in Indiana. This is a glaring error, and had he proof-read his work; he would have found that we claim to be the best tasting pizza in all of Carmel, not the state of Indiana. This claim we stand behind with a guarantee and would invite all readers to come and join us to see that our homemade sauces and dough are truly worthy of this distinction. We, unlike our competitors, do not use canned sauces or store-bought dough. We use authentic Italian recipes that have been passed through generations of our family.

As any food critic knows, when one dines in an establishment, it is customary to state what items one tried and the cost per item, so that the reader can gain an understanding of the cuisine, and perhaps try it out for themselves. However, Mr. Fuson again misstates the facts when he claims that he ordered an $18.00 one topping pizza. One would need to finish reading the article to find that Mr. Fuson in fact ordered a 16” pie with pepperoni, an order of garlic bread, (which happens to feed a family of four), and his bill was only $18.00. Our prices are at least one dollar below those of our competitor’s and we challenge Mr. Fuson and his readers to find a cheaper pie of the same quality, size, and price in all of Carmel. His reference to a store bought, frozen pizza from Costco being cheaper is in fact quite funny, because as you can see Mr. Fuson, you are comparing apples and oranges.

Mr. Fuson goes on to attempt to describe the flavors of the meal he enjoyed. He claims the pizza sauce to be “tangy or spicy,” but he “couldn’t figure out which.” Mr. Fuson, I would challenge you to look up these two very different words in any English dictionary. The words are not synonymous, nor are they similar. They are in fact quite different from one another. Tangy, according to our dear friend Mr. Webster is having a distinctively sharp taste, flavor, or odor; while spicy, on the other hand, means to be seasoned with or containing spice. So, in the future I would ask that you fully understand the meanings of the terms that you use so that you can ensure accuracy in your reporting.

Lastly, I would ask that Mr. Fuson reexamine his perpetuation of the stereotype “redneck” when reporting. As a reporter it is your duty to report facts in an unbiased manner, while at the same time painting a mental picture for your audience. In the last paragraph of your article you claim that my restaurant is a “glamorous redneck, not in any way true to itself.” I would again ask the reader to remember that Mr. Fuson, according to his own words, seems to think that Dattolo’s atmosphere is indeed similar to that of St. Elmo’s. I can honestly tell you dear reader, that it is not. We are a pizzeria, true in form and design to those images that your mind conjures up when remembering those times when you have enjoyed a truly authentic Italian meal. It is unfair, untrue, and extremely unprofessional to refer to anyone, let alone one’s business, as a “redneck” when it is glaringly obvious that you have not dined at the restaurants which you reference throughout your article.

This completes my rebuttal to Mr. Fuson’s lack of fact finding and glaring errors in his reporting style. I thank you for your time and I would ask that all of your readers please come and join us Monday thru Thursday 11 to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 to 11pm, and Sunday’s 4 to 9 pm, we look forward to serving you our homemade Italian classics in a family friendly atmosphere.

Vincent Dattolo