Practical Matters: Physical Environment
The late Jay Jacobs, the witty food critic, who went to dinner for Gourmet Magazine, would bemoan the New York kitchens’ weakness for clichés. In his day it was the “dreaded kiwi”. Wherever he dined, kiwis would appear like bilious boutonnieres on everything from vichyssoise to venison. Today the dreaded cliché paradigms have shifted from kitchen to dining room. Restaurants, in their endeavor to create atmosphere, are dimming the lights to dinginess, forcing guests to peruse the menu with a flashlight. And while I’m all for setting the mood, it seems this bit of irony has escaped the restaurateur. For it is not only the palate that plays a pivotal role in the dining and wining experience, it is also the eyes.