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Old 08-25-2005, 09:22 PM   #1
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As opposed to eating, that is.

While well prepared foods are certainly enjoyable and healthful, I believe the "ambience" of the meal is equally important for both pleasure and health.

Anyone can grab a burger - and some of them a darned good, too. Devoured at a sporting event, the beach, or at a picnic, etc., such fast foods can be a pleasure in themselves.

But nothing beats - in this Old Coot's opinion - proper dining.

That's where the folks around a table (one person or a dozen) are both well groomed and well mannered. And the table is set as tastefully as circumstances permit. Then comes the food - hopefully tasty and nutritious - served attractively and courteously.

Diners holding their tableware somewhat daintily, rather than with the base-ball bat grip too often seen in even fine restaurants today. And taking small bites, chewing with mouths closed, and refraining from talking until after swallowing. But maintaining pleasant conversation between bites.

There is a wealth of scientific evidence indicating that enjoying food without stress is beneficial to digestion, and thereby to overall physical and mental health.

And so on... It seems the art of fine dining has become endangered.

What do you think?


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Old 08-25-2005, 09:26 PM   #2
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Has become endagered? That happened in about 1966, I think.

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Old 08-25-2005, 09:28 PM   #3
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But seriously, it's up to those of us who still care to bring it back.
p.s. in 1966 my dad bought our first TV
& later, I remember him Pronouncing (yes, with a capital "P", that was my dad) that colored TV .....just a fad.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:32 PM   #4
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Old Coot:

I think you're right on.

We still enjoy the type of dining experience you describe. A nice leisurely dinner and wine and the opportunity to talk with the person(s) you're with is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening.

It's endangered more by my current unemployed condition than by a lack of interest.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:00 PM   #5
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That it has..I sometimes just sit back and wonder why people even bother to go to a nice restaurant and then either drink their dinner so that the food they ordered sits and gets cold, or they inhale it without tasing it..What really gets me though is the one who has a phone slapped to his ear and talks so loud you cannot help but overhear and then they complain, this is cold, that is wilted yatta yatta..Makes me want to dump the whole meal in their laps!!! As a kid, my parents and my aunt, saw to it that my sister and I were given the chance to enjoy good food at lovely restaurants and we were expected to: sit like ladies, chew with mouths closed, never talk with mouth full, we also had to learn which piece of silver ware was used for what, always place napkin in lap and use it When we spoke it was in a soft voice so not to bother other diners..This was never ever a had to or else it was made into a fun thing that made us feel all grown up! Why at 5 I was allowed to go into my aunt favortie restaurant with her, you were seated, then you went to a fancy counter and chose your steak, chop, or piece of fish, and then you told the waiter how it was to be cooked. I remember the man's eyes getting all big as he looked at this little kid, he didn't know what to do, so he looked at my aunt, who quietly said, You may take the order from the young lady..Wow was I all puffed up I love noisey family sunday dinners, but my kids also know when it's time to settle down and just enjoy the food and each other..To bad people don't realize what they are missing..Oh for the old days of gentle people..good food, a table set with china, crystal, silver and flowers, pleasant company and eating slowly and savoring every bite
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:51 PM   #6
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We have a quiet and very nice dining room. This is what we want....and I'm not sorry we did it....but those who know how to "really" enjoy it all seem to be 6o and over. I'm 53....no young chicken....but everyone younger than I am seems to be in a hurry....thinks good food should be on their table in 15 minutes.....and don't seem to know the first thing about a leisurely, relaxed meal. I think it is sad.
You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:45 PM   #7
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I'm 21 and I enjoy immensely going to a fine restaurant (Sydney-siders, check out a little restaurant called Paua in Surry Hills, it is awesome) eating delightful food in great surroundings where the staff attend to your needs before you even realise them, its fantastic (when this poor uni student can scrimp together enough money together that isn't for alcohol :P).

I also immensely enjoy taking my girlfriend and going to a local favourite thai/vietnamese eatery of mine where it is noisy, fast paced, dirt cheap and the food is fantastic.

But my overall favourite dining experience? Eating on a rug, on some grass in a park/beside the beach etc, eating anything from a homemade selection of dishes to a big batch of fish and chips from a takeaway.

To me the only thing that matters is the company (well...that is unless the food is rubbish and the service bad :P).
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:14 AM   #8
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You mean I've got to wash my face and hands - and wear my shoes to the table to eat?

I know what your mean ... FINE dining is something you only read about these days (probably the hayday was the railroad expansion era and Diamond Jim Brady). It's not just the food presented, or how it was served, it's also how it is received and eaten.

I remember when I was young and there were such places around ... I not only took a bath but also wore a suit and tie (with real shoes - not Reeboks). Did the same for taking a young lady out to a play or the local symphony. These days - I can go to a concert in a tux and find myself sitting next to somone in a sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes!

What ever happened to "manners" and "decorum"?

I miss those old days of getting dressed up for dinner ... these days - you pay $100 for a meal at a Bobby Flay or Emeril place - it's not fine dining - it's a theme park meal with maybe above average service!

Darn it ... I'm starting to be an old coot ....
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:33 AM   #9
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I am tempted to think that lesiurely dining is far more of a sure thing at home, or at a friend's home.

Of course, it takes effort. There of plenty of people who like good food, but not preparing it, and others who like preparing it, but maybe they've had a long, tiring day at the office...

In any event, how often have you felt relaxed enough to talk for hours at a restaurant table without the staff hovering or being otherwise annoying?

Dining is best done at home, in a controlled environment!

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Old 08-26-2005, 05:35 AM   #10
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I'm sorry but this is everyday dining at our house. We do not have good china that is brought out on ocassion, we have the china which is eaten on daily. The table is set for 3 meals a day with cloth napkins, tableclothes, water glasses, wine glasses, salad forks, etc. Dessert is served as a seperate part of the meal, not sliced, diced or scooped into a bowl and plopped onto the table.

Coffee or brandy or both are offered daily, although not always chosen.

And yes we do eat casseroles, hamburger helper and other convenience foods, even take out. But it is enjoyed as a meal just the same. We also have bread on the table, plated, every meal and lots of pickles, relishes, butter, jams, honey's, eggs 2 or 3 different ways are always offered and served in a warming dish not slopped onto a paper plate, condiments are a way of greeting your food with full intent on enjoying it.

Some have told us we take this too far and should relax, well it is not a difficult thing for us to slowly enjoy not only the meal but each others company. We have the same issues with paper plates, TV trays and sitting on living room furniture to eat a meal as people do with us eating like the human race was intended to, civlily.

"The only thing I am giving up today is...giving up!"
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