excerpt : on food

"Few dishes are as satisfying and elemental as a simply grilled sea bream, served at a a plain wooden table with checked napkin and chunky scuffed cutlery.  The flesh had just the right consistency, with no additions beyond a little flaky sea salt, some finely chopped parsley, and a dash of lemon...

Our ostensible reason for wanting to travel to the new restaurant in the centre of town is that we feel like having a bite to eat.  But a substantial, perhaps even decisive part of our desire has a less mundane, more subtly psychological basis: we want to absorb the values of the restaurant itself.  We want (in some vague sense) to become like it: relaxed, dignified, convivial, content with simplicity, in touch with nature, at ease with others.  There are the abstract values that we semi-consciously detect in the dishes, the service and the decor, and which we are confusedly seeking to bolster ourselves through the ingestion of a sea bream with chopped parsley and a side order of burrata with lentils and basil oil."

-The News, a Users Manual

1 comment:

erica said...

this is great quote, and it helps articulate the reason why we always eat out with the kids. hopefully they're learning these values by being at nice restaurants. and hopefully other diners don't want to murder me because my child is dropping sushi on the ground!