**How will this shake out?**
San Francisco _Chronicle_ critic Michael Bauer was asked by a reader what he
thinks about the somewhat inexplicable disappearance of salt and pepper
shakers from restaurant tables and dining rooms. "The chef was excellent," the
reader explains, pointing out a recent meal. "No question, but I cannot
believe that he hits his seasonings perfectly every time." What's more is that
a front-of-house staff member at Oakland's Bellanico allegedly told the reader
the tables weren't set with salt shakers because the chef, who is presumably
able to command his cooks to use the precise amount of seasonings day in and
out, didn't "find it necessary." In any event, Bauer responded it was "simple"
and that he didn't like it, writing, "I think it smacks of arrogance."
This did not sit well with Bellanico's chef Jonathan Luce, who wrote in to
tell Bauer that he has never instructed his staff to inform diners that extra
salt wasn't necessary with his dishes, though he admits that "the goal is to
put out dishes that are perfectly salted." His cooks are instructed to taste
and retaste the dishes that come off their stations each ...