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How much does ambience influence the way you enjoy a meal

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How much does ambience influence the way you enjoy a meal

Steve Plotnicki | Dec 4, 2001 07:26 AM

Sort of an ancillary issue to the "delicious" thread below. I always wonder if I have certain biases for and against various restaurants for reasons like where they are located. An example in point. While dining at La Regalade in Paris last May, I ordered a Hachis Parmentier (Shephard's Pie) that was made with Boudin Noir (Blood Sausage, Morcilla or I guess Black Pudding depending on where you live)instead of chopped meat. It was so creamy and delicious. The Boudin Noir changed the entire complexion of the dish making it much richer.

Now switching chopped meat in favor of Boudin Noir isn't rocket scientry, in fact it's an obvious one. Yet I had never seen it before. But that's neither here nor there because my point isn't about creativity, it's about preferences. And my gut tells me that if I was served the same dish at a place in London, it wouldn't have been as good. Or would I just not have enjoyed it as much because it had the taint of London dining on it? And it isn't that I am closeminded about it. The Middle Eastern food in the U.S. is far better than the food you are served in Cairo.

So how much of enjoying a meal depends on the surroundings? The look, feel and smell of where you are. Is getting off the plane at Charles deGaulle half of the battle? And when you land at Heathrow do you bring food baggage with you?

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