5 Little Joys in a Restaurant

These are a few of the things that make me feel valued as a customer and like I’m getting value, that is, as much or more than I’m paying.

1) Amuse gueule/bouche: The name says it all. It makes your face happy, it makes your mouth happy. Often a bit more risky, always free, and often footloose and fanciful, it’s a small promise that you’re going to be taken care of, and get more than you’d expected. I’ve never had a bad meal after a good amuse bouche.

2) Half-bottles priced accordingly: When half-bottles are reasonable and abundant, I can’t help but order several. I take more risks, I play with pairings I don’t settling for the neutral, safe easy could have bought it in Yorkville choice. In short, I feel like I really get to know a place

Landmarc has mastered the half-bottle menu, and more importantly the impression of giving good value with the half-bottle menu. Daniel is surprisingly strong as well, perhaps in deference to French culture where the demi-bouteille at lunch is considered a model of near-Puritanical restraint.

3) Luxurious bathrooms: The one thing nearly every private club gets right.  The washroom should be a refuge, a place that conveys calm and comfort, even if it’s just a five-minute break from your dinner guests. Real cloth towels, big deep sinks for washing up, stalls the size of studio apt. kitchens–restaurants have so many chances to win guests over, and this is one more.

4) Foreign newspapers on a stick: I love reading foreign papers and taking a late lunch, especially in a place like Café Sabarsky or Artisanal, where so much effort goes into making the setting feel effortlessly like somewhere I’d rather be. Of course, I can’t read German, but I like having the option and I do read Le Monde at Artisanal.

5 ) Stemware that’s as nice or nicer than the wine I’ve ordered: Nothing seems stingier than serving the good stuff warm or in a thick clumsily blown glass. Nothing seems more generous than dressing up my bottom of the menu selection with the newest crystal from Austria.


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