Regarding Susan Spano's "In a Martini Mood," [Nov. 1]. Many years ago I stayed, with friends, at the Chateau de Marcay in Chinon in France's Loire Valley. I asked the young bartender for a martini, and he indicated he didn't know how. His broken English was better than my broken French, so, using broken English and hand signs, we created an excellent, very dry martini.
Almost immediately, a waiter came up to the service bar and said, in French, that an American wanted a martini. The bartender turned to me with huge eyes. I watched him carefully prepare a perfect martini, straight up, ice cold, stirred, two drops of vermouth and a speared olive, which was delivered to the American. Moments later, the waiter returned and told the bartender that the American said it was the best martini he'd had in Europe. The bartender turned to me. We high-fived.
Robert B. Fuller
I'd like to nominate Spano's article for the worst travel article of the year. If she wants an American martini and an American bar, she can stay in one of many cookie-cutter hotels worldwide operated by major American chains.