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Memorable food vs. memorable restaurant

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Memorable food vs. memorable restaurant

hattie | Sep 8, 2005 12:54 AM

There's a question on the Manhattan board about Per Se and whether it's worth going. One response, from xavier, ( hope you don't mind that I'm quoting you ) was

"I've only eaten there once. Certainly it's lovely and elegant. But I can barely remember what i actually ate. I've had more memorable meals, but rarely a nicer room or service experience."

The comment got me thinking about that experience of dining someplace "grand" and well regarded, enjoying the ammenities, but not having a meal, or even a dish, that leaves an indelible impression. ( not that it's not good, but you don't talk about it later, with: "oh my god - then came these tiny clams, and they were briney, yet rich, and the aroma ..." . That kind of memorable )
Is it heightened expectations, over-hype on the part of the food press, kitchen fatigue in trying to live up to the expectations, coasting..... is it possible that some restaurants overpower their own food? If everything else is beautiful, does it make less-than-spectacular food more or less disappointing?
And in this event, as the original poster asked, is it worth it?

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