Showing posts with label dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dining. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The sounds of silence

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on
If you are ever in Ketchum, Idaho and have a hankering for a decent glass of wine and flatbread (what is it with flatbread?), do stop by Enoteca.  You won't be sorry. 

I'm sitting here listening to rain on the roof. Yay rain! It rained on our walk home from dinner tonight. I love the smell of first raindrops hitting the pavement, the promise of our rain barrels filling up and our poor lawn getting a drink it so richly deserves.

One of these days lawn, one of these days.

TH passed this article off to me today and I am glad to see that others are not willing to put up with the  noise/din in restaurants any longer and are getting up and walking out.

Diners refuse to be silent about noise.

I know it is cool and designerly to have hand hewn tables made from the wood of a million buildings that have been demolished in the name of progress in one's restaurant, but tasteful soft furnishings do make for quieter restaurants. One of my favorite rooms, Restaurant Nora, in D.C. hangs lovely handmade quilts on the walls to keep the noise levels to a moderate level. I am glad restaurant reviews in the NYT are now rating restaurants based on their noise levels and online reservation sites such as OpenTable allow you to select dining spots based on their noise levels (hint: search for restaurants with quiet conversation).

As much as I detest carpets in restaurants, it makes things so much more quiet. We recently ate at ABC Kitchen in NYC. I loved the food, but by the time we left, I was completely hoarse from having to raise my voice to be heard. What is it about this frenetic pace and level of noise that makes dining seem so cool? I'm not sure it helps my digestion and it certainly doesn't make me want to stay longer and eat more. Maybe that is their intention.

If you have to text your dinner date to tell them something, you best consider finding somewhere else to eat.


Friday, November 21, 2014

The Single Payer System

Le Crillon, Dec. 2013. We are so fancy.

I love travel, loyalty programs and  I love eating. These are the three truths. I also love to plan. I would have made a terrible hostel goer or backpacker back in the day.  I am not a seat of the pants traveller either, I like to have a decent idea of where I'm going and what I'm going to see.

I also hate waiting in lines, all of them.

I'm a big fan of online reservation systems that ensure that I don't have to wait in line for food, museum exhibitions and ticket machines that only take exact change. For dining, I use OpenTable as much as possible to make restaurant bookings. I have even been known to fire up the app on the way to a restaurant just to ensure I'm not going to be hanging out in the parking lot with one of those ugly pagers.

Restaurants sometimes run promotions through OpenTable to get people to dine during off hours. Typically a diner earns 100 points for booking through OpenTable, but sometimes that bumps up to 1000 points.  Points start to add up fast when you book them at these odd hours and for those who love their points, it can mean convincing your loved one eating dinner at 545 is really a very late lunch.

What does this have to do with the Single Payer System?  Most of these promos require a party of two to get the 1000 points.  The solo traveller is just as likely to eat either earlier or late, but they don't qualify for the promotion.  Shouldn't we be getting at least 500 points?

I know that the restaurants pay to be part of the OpenTable program and it costs them x number of dollars to give out these points, but who is to say the solo traveller is not going to order a more expensive entree, a better glass of wine and perhaps linger over a cappuccino before heading back to their room to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter?

The same thing goes for restaurants that will not book tables for one. I use the French and UK equivalents of OpenTable to book restaurants and often times they will not take a solo diner.  I end up booking for two and bring my bear to lunch (Kidding, sort of) . Instead I'll sheepishly say that my companion was not going to make it and hope they don't put me next to the bussing station.

I think it is time for the single payer/diner to be recognized.  We can easily just order room service and sit in our pjs, but we choose to adventure out and try the newest kombucha on tap hotspot, so rejoice and give us our damn points for trying.