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Dining in London vs. NYC (so far)


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#1 joethefoodie

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:25 AM

Well, we've been here for a few days now, and eaten at:

 

The Harwood Arms

Hawksmoor Air Street

The Clove Club

Bonham's

Noble Rot

 

Tried to have lunch (sans reservation) at Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor, but just enjoyed the view and had a bar snack or two instead, as they were fully booked Monday lunch.

 

We also met a friend for breakfast, at Chiltern Firehouse.

 

Other than the bar area at Duck & Waffle, there was no music playing at all, at any of the places I've listed. Including at Hawksmoor, which was pretty much a madhouse. 

 

Amazingly, people still seemed to be able to enjoy themselves. They were having fun. It might've even been their entertainment for the night, which is one of the reasons stated as to why NYC restaurants find the need to crank it up.

 

Now, don't for a second think that I don't think there are hundreds, if not thousands of eateries here, where the music is playing, often too loudly; we just have had the good fortune of not eating at any of them. 

 

Significant Eater mentioned to me, during that first night's dinner at Harwood, that it was so cool to be able to hear other peoples' voices, laughter, etc.  Either singularly or even as crowd "noise." Yet at the same time, that noise never intruded upon our ability to have a conversation, to say nothing of how it added to our enjoyment of the meal.

 

So whaddya know?!



#2 joethefoodie

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:53 PM

Add another. No music.

 

St. John. I don't know how we made it through the meal, other than the fantastic food, service, wine, etc.



#3 Suzanne F

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 12:09 AM

You mean you actually had to talk to each other? :o


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#4 joethefoodie

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 07:18 AM

You mean you actually had to talk to each other? :o

That's the scariest part of it.



#5 Daniel

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 02:44 PM

I never thought of the absence of music in a place as something that is enjoyable.. I have been to places with shitty music, for sure.. But, not in recent memory I guess..  The second i go into my car, i hook up the blue tooth to my Napster, i walk into my house, i am connected to the speaker, i start playing music.. I usually always have music on.. I enjoy music in restaurants... The only time I prefer to not have music on is when I am jogging, or going for walks.  


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#6 Suzanne F

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 03:11 PM

Silence is a wonderful thing. It allows sound to happen.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#7 joethefoodie

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 07:26 AM

I never thought of the absence of music in a place as something that is enjoyable.. I have been to places with shitty music, for sure.. But, not in recent memory I guess..  The second i go into my car, i hook up the blue tooth to my Napster, i walk into my house, i am connected to the speaker, i start playing music.. I usually always have music on.. I enjoy music in restaurants... The only time I prefer to not have music on is when I am jogging, or going for walks.  

In the car, music is usually on. Same at home. I never listened to music when jogging - now that I'm jogging less and walking more, that still holds true. 

 

But why, seriously, do you need music in a restaurant if there's good food, good service, good booze, and good conversation? We never once felt, at the places I listed above, that we were missing anything. 

 

And how, seriously, did restaurants survive before playing of music became a thing in restaurants?

 

Ori, if you're there, what's the music in restaurants situation like in Tokyo?



#8 Orik

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 11:40 PM

My impression is probably biased because we usually go to small restaurants (and dining counters make their own music, in a way), but overall:

 

French bistros will often play a nauseating list of instrumental "French" music. It always seems to be the same so it's possible the one big importer of French foodstuffs gives them the CD as an opening gift. 

 

Cool wine bars play cool music. 

 

Otherwise music is reserved for masking bathroom sounds. 

 

When we did a pop-up restaurant here we used music in the way you'd think it should be used if you know your crowd demographics, how much they've had to drink, how focused you want them to be, etc. and of course that works doubly well when they're not used to it. Just playing loud music would not work as the locals wouldn't try to scream over it like 'mericuns do. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#9 voyager

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 11:51 PM

I never thought of the absence of music in a place as something that is enjoyable.. I have been to places with shitty music, for sure.. But, not in recent memory I guess..  The second i go into my car, i hook up the blue tooth to my Napster, i walk into my house, i am connected to the speaker, i start playing music.. I usually always have music on.. I enjoy music in restaurants... The only time I prefer to not have music on is when I am jogging, or going for walks.  

Interesting.    And funny, to me.    I play music in my head.    24/7.    I choose my ear-worms, and am fairly successful in changing then when I get tired of one.   I actually find it annoying when piped in music clashes with what I'm "listening to".


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#10 joethefoodie

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:52 AM

My impression is probably biased because we usually go to small restaurants (and dining counters make their own music, in a way), but overall:

 

Otherwise music is reserved for masking bathroom sounds. 

 

 

This - the nail on the head.

 

Good restaurants make their own music too. It's happy conversations, laughter, clinking, etc.



#11 Suzanne F

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 05:17 PM

Stephen Starr was just on Charlie Rose, who asked him about this.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#12 Lex

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 06:13 PM

That was an interesting clip.  Thanks.


"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
 
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion

I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.

"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China

#13 Lex

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 06:39 PM

Re music in restaurants, even at its best I don't think it adds much.  Put it this way - if it makes a positive difference you've either chosen the wrong restaurant or the wrong dining companions.  And often music can distract or annoy.

 

At bars it can be enjoyable as long as it's not loud enough to hinder conversation and they play songs I like.  Luckily since pop music stopped I often enjoy what gets played.


"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
 
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion

I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.

"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China

#14 voyager

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 08:19 PM

 


Good restaurants make their own music too. It's happy conversations, laughter, clinking, etc.

 

 

 

Re music in restaurants, even at its best I don't think it adds much.  Put it this way - if it makes a positive difference you've either chosen the wrong restaurant or the wrong dining companions.  And often music can distract or annoy.

 

At bars it can be enjoyable as long as it's not loud enough to hinder conversation and they play songs I like. 

:gold:


It's not my circus,

not my monkeys.


#15 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 08:27 PM

You all sound so old

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"