Jump to content


Photo

The Way We Eat Now


  • Please log in to reply
653 replies to this topic

#616 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,928 posts

Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:23 PM

Well that's the problem.  Maybe (MAYBE??) Canadians are just more mature than people from the United States.

 

In my experience, if you suggest ordering two of a dish to a table of sharers, you get looked at like you're being overextravagant.  Because, to the people who insist on sharing, (a) sharing is seen as a way to save money (even if, in reality, it runs up the check considerably), and (b), as I've said, much of their purpose is to expand the variety of dishes they get to taste.

 

But this now has next to nothing to do with the original point. 


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#617 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,928 posts

Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:29 PM

 

 

 

 

The act of shredding dishes meant for one or two to share.

The company was pretty old school but dines around and so has become conditioned to think sharing is the way to go.

 

It seems, though, that the problem was just that you should have doubled the order and deep sixed a couple dishes.

 

The manner of eating doesn't prohibit bad ordering.

 

 

No, there was plenty of food, it's just a really dumb way to eat.

 

Also the fact that some east asian kitchens are so dysfunctional in their countries of origin that they can't time dishes doesn't mean it's a less dumb way for those cuisines, just that they have a way to market this as authentic so as to reduce the time asses spend in chairs. 

 

 

No, you just didn't order enough razor clams. It's a dumb way to eat if you insist on ordering the whole menu, but not if you order enough razor clams for everyone.

 

I am not entirely sure that the first part of the second comment is worth addressing, other than to say that family style or shared dining is not "timing" and that, if done well, it is timed (this is not an argument for serving dishes out of order, which is explicit from my first post) and just because some restaurants serve the oysters after the steak because their shucker is slow and their steak is sous vide is not really here nor there. That's obviously bad.

 

 

You're picking on the razor clams, but we did get two of those despite objections, and still the result of ordering many fractional dishes per person is just not far from putting all the dishes in a blender and having a mealshake. 

 

As for family style dining, I'll take it when I'm dining with family but will continue to think that with very few exceptions it is an inferior format and that restaurant do use it exactly as I described - claiming authenticity to maximize revenue (and often to allow for batching in the kitchen). I've also watched enough kitchens at work to know that this is a bug, not a feature (and magically Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese restaurants in Japan develop the skill of coursing without detracting from the food, so it must not be an intrinsic property of the cuisine)

 

 

Do you order your seafood towers portioned?

 

You should ask Sneak about his favourite meal of 2018 and whether it was shared. I've had enough mid and higher end meals of those cuisines served family style and, mostly, it seems that they often go coursed when Westernized. Given the way that many dishes are prepped, it would be equivalent to serving a stew in individualized portions - other than a bit of mess, it's hard to see the culinary benefit. And in many of these cuisines, there is a counterpoint between the main dishes and the sides (and plenty of literature talking about this, from those countries) that is important, and I am not sure I see any benefit to those being on the same plate or not. 

 

There is a difference between coursing and sharing which is getting muddied here.


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#618 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 22,229 posts

Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:49 PM

They are getting muddled because "the dishes will come in the order they are ready and are meant to be shared"

 

So you go (maybe even with Sneakeater) to Guan Fu, which we all think is a pretty good place, and they serve you three huge main courses with or before your cold apps with the result that there's no room on the table and you end up eating cold food, and no benefit. Still it's delicious, and so much food, and who cares. 

 

But then you go to a "the dishes will come in the order they are ready and are meant to be shared" place and the same thing happens except the dishes are normal sized, often really hard to share, and make even less sense together.

 

And then as mentioned, people get indoctrinated to "the dishes will come in the order they are ready and are meant to be shared" and insist on doing that to themselves in places where you're expected to order your food and maybe share it with your date.

 

eta: to begin with "in the order that they are ready" implies there is no benefit to you, only to the kitchen. and you say places are getting better at coursing, but in my experience that's luck of the draw and even if there's a responsible adult coursing there's no feedback to the kitchen, so you get your food after it stood around in the kitchen instead of on your table.


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

#619 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 64,882 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:21 AM

At My Favorite Meal Of 2018, the dishes came out in courses that made sense and all consisted of huge plates of small pre-cut bits that were made to be apportioned at table.

Contrast a dish I had at Frenchette the other night: a boudin blanc on a bed of vadouvan gunk with three bits of apple and maybe four pieces of cauliflower. What would have been a palatable way of apportioning that? But many groups I eat with would have insisted.
Bar Loser

MF Old

#620 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 22,229 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:22 AM

Yes, I forgot, a tear of boudin blanc.


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

#621 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12,021 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:48 AM

I think the only place where someone says  "the dishes will come in the order they are ready and are meant to be shared"  should be my fucking kitchen.



#622 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12,021 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:49 AM

And your point, Ori, about maybe sharing with your date, wife, spouse, partner, etc. is exactly what we do.



#623 joethefoodie

joethefoodie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 12,021 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:54 AM

Take a look at, admittedly not one of Ori's favorite places - Wildair.

 

Obvious shared plates place. They course the meal. The plating is basically fancy (er) family style. I can't really think of another place (in nyc) that does it quite as well.

 

AT Frenchette, it's annoying sharing stuff with anyone but my date. Except maybe the beignets. And the large format stuff.



#624 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,928 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:58 AM

They are getting muddled because "the dishes will come in the order they are ready and are meant to be shared"

 

 

From my first response:

 

 

 

 

I think restaurants have also overall gotten better at the concept - the plates generally come out in a sensible order (the crudo is before the fish), plates get changed between the first and second round, etc.

 

There are still places that do it in the annoying way but, mostly, it seems fine.

 

 

 

Yes, I agree, when restaurants are just shooting things out as they are ready it's not good, and this used to be a problem. Generally, I have found it not to be so much of a problem anymore, which was the premise of the initial post.


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#625 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,928 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:04 AM

At My Favorite Meal Of 2018, the dishes came out in courses that made sense and all consisted of huge plates of small pre-cut bits that were made to be apportioned at table.

Contrast a dish I had at Frenchette the other night: a boudin blanc on a bed of vadouvan gunk with three bits of apple and maybe four pieces of cauliflower. What would have been a palatable way of apportioning that? But many groups I eat with would have insisted.

 

Yes but this is patently not what I am talking about. Frenchette is a restaurant that is optimal with individual plates and splitting some large format dishes, I gather.* That people you went out with demanding shared plates across the board doesn't tell you much about the state of the shared plates restaurant, but it tells you a lot about the people you ate at Frenchette with.

 

*Joe Beef does shared meals very, very well, but that's Joe Beef.


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#626 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 22,229 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 01:49 AM

Do you order your seafood towers portioned?

 

 

 

Yes, they are presented as individual servings of oysters, shrimp, clams, etc. and if there is a larger animal it is invariably separated into halves. I proceed to eat the tower in the natural order from oyster to lobster.  :D


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

#627 Wilfrid

Wilfrid

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 86,899 posts

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:16 AM

I’ve always found it curious that small plates are recommended for sharing. No news there.

Modern Australian, as it developed in Australia, wasn’t associated with small plates, but for all I know the Australians have now gone mad too.

#628 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 64,882 posts

Posted 17 March 2019 - 03:16 PM

I can see that Adrian and I have been talking past each other for the last few pages.

 

My point -- in response to Orik's question whether people actually liked sharing Euro-style food -- was that people must, because lots of them insist on doing so even in places where the food isn't conducive to it.

 

That's why I was harping on Frenchette, a place where multiple times the people I was with have insisted on sharing -- I just opted out -- even though it makes the food kind of disgusting.

 

I wasn't claiming you can't have a good sharing format, be it "family style" or genuine share plates.  (And I certainly wasn't claiming that sharing isn't appropriate at a Chinese restaurant like Fisherman Lobster Clubhouse.)  Only that people's insistence on sharing even when it seems blatantly inappropriate to the food being served shows that they're committed to eating that way.  To a fault, I would say.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#629 Adrian

Adrian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,928 posts

Posted 17 March 2019 - 03:18 PM

Yes yes yes. We agree. And it's absurd - there seems to be an assumption in some groups that if there are shared plates, they must be appropriate for two people to share as well as for eight. 


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#630 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 22,229 posts

Posted 17 March 2019 - 03:21 PM

Yes. Exactly. 

 

Also I feel like there's some economic pressure at Frenchette right now (isn't it amazing how you can be one of the hardest tables in town but still struggling to make ends meet?) that makes sharing even less likely, but that's for another thread. 


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