Before I start this writing, I will add a disclaimer, this is all for a bit of fun. I enjoy eating out and do it quite often. However, I have a pebble in my shoe about a few aspects. Enjoy this one with a pinch of salt (lol), see what I did there?
‘How much?’, how can I justify spending this much on a bottle of sparkling water? Look at the price of the steak, want to share a pasta? I’m actually, you know, kind of not that hungry, might just get the $40 salad. I would like to request your finest tap water please and don’t spare the ice.
The price is right for what you get, carrots that have been massaged, peeled, boiled, sautéed, rubbed, seasoned and garnished by 17 of the finest chefs from the south east coast of France just cost more. The simple economics of the setting, the crystal, the silver and the crisp white napkins don’t come cheap. You want wine? I will call the sommelier, and his assistant Pierre.
2.I Can Fill My Own Water Thanks
When you go to an expensive restaurant you go back in time, to when you were a child. Not in a magical way but in a way where you are incapable of the simplest tasks. Napkins are placed on laps, water is filled for you, meat is pre-cut and pepper ground. Currently all you must do in fine dining restaurants is to pick up your fork and transfer the gnocchi from plate to mouth. On the horizon must be the waiter doing this for you too – here comes the aeroplane.
The amount of deep conversations that are spoiled by the water pouring, bread offering and opinion wanting waiting staff is phenomenal. It is not their fault; they have been directed by some manager to do this because this is what is done. Every single thing I have ever eaten has been ‘very nice, thanks’, or at least that’s the information I give to the waiter has been ordered to ask.
Why the need to ask the customer ‘how is the food?’ Always mid forkful or mid conversation. If it is terrible the customer will let you know, if it is delicious, good, it should be, the customer is paying an arm and a leg for it now let them enjoy it. Does the restaurant need the positive reinforcement for ego purposes? You don’t see the counter staff at the cinema come in mid movie to ask you are you enjoying the movie? ‘Yes, it’s great thanks, I can watch Tom Hanks all day’. Tom Hanks is the movie equivalent of steak.
The elephant in the room is the mouse size portions, hunger is something no one should feel after spending a week’s wages in a fancy restaurant. Too many times I have been happy with the taste but devastated with the portion size. It is all a ploy to get us to buy another course, with each course comes the dollar signs.
We get it, it looks better all pretty and elegant and ok it’s probably healthier for us to eat less but when I am forking out the cash, I want my forks full. Surely there is a middle ground where the portion size could be increased, and the prettiness retained?
Alternatively, the restaurant should guarantee fullness if you buy a starter and a main course, and therefore would have to give you a second or a third serving if their child size portions had not satisfied your hunger.
4.Faff vs Fun
Food is a spice of life, but expensive restaurants take the joy out of eating. I have forgotten which fork I should use, I don’t know what an entrée is, how much should I tip? can I ask for more bread? why is no one talking? With the atmosphere of a library we are reduced to hushed voices and an exorbitant amount of politeness.
I have always found politeness and ceremony to drain the fun from a room, funnelling it into the lively pub next door. The restaurant hates that pub, far too much joy seeping through the walls.
Since when does food care if I have a jacket and tie on? I enjoy food best when I have flip flops and shorts on, but apparently food needs me all uncomfortable in order to taste it.
Why can’t comfort and fine dining just get along, they must have had a big falling out years ago, but I believe they can kiss and make up. Food doesn’t have to be so serious.
5.Cooking is Life
Why go out when you can stay in, the food will be just how you like it. The day has come to learn how to make pasta, bread, curry and all those other things you love. Once you can make your own you can enjoy the process as much as the eating. The ability to cook means you can host your own dinner parties where the taste is amazing, the portions are adult sized, the dress code is casual, and the laughs are loud.
Go into the kitchen pump up the music and have a glass of vino if you must. You can take pleasure in making the food just right, from chopping the garlic to adding the sprig of faff the final plate it can be such an enjoyable and relaxing process. Then you can watch others enjoy your creation.
Cooking brings families together, brings conversations to tables, brings smiles to faces, brings warmth to bodies, brings joy to life, why don’t you cook tonight instead of going to that expensive restaurant?