The other day, E! and I went for dinner to a swanky restaurant in New Paltz for E!'s special day (courtesy of E!'s sister and husband, thank you very much).
The food was yummy, but ever since we started on our restaurant voyage, I have sharpened my senses with respect to the on goings in a restaurant, the food, the ambiance, the staff. I owe this mostly to E!, she is the chef and business woman.
Anyhow, so we sat there and the appetizer rolls in, steak tartar, which was really yummy, except that it had fallen prey to the squeeze bottle. The squeeze bottle is something Anthony Bourdain had already complained about in his book Kitchen Confidential. It allows the cook to decorate a plate with all sorts of sauces, potentially creating a piece of visual art, the emphasis is on visual. The problem is though, that this visual dressing up can ruin the taste of the dish. The steak tartar was squeezed over in stripes with some sauce, making it impossible to get a piece without sauce.
It was also fascinating that they used thick brown paper as table cloth. Granted, it was neatly cut, but I didn't get why they put it on in the first place, because they took it off before dessert.
Eating out for us is a great exercise in how to run, or not to run our own restaurant. I hope we remember all that once we're open.