Not About Food 29

smart phones @ bay area restaurants [moved from San Francisco board]

sundeck sue | Mar 7, 201208:09 AM

We had a good (not perfect) dinner @ Chez Panisse Cafe on Fri. A treat at the week's end. We were there late; and the place was jumpin'. My leek salad and steak and Red and Green Zin and dates and mandarin oranges were just what the doctor ordered (the fried artichokes on the side of the steak, a bit tough, thought the accompanying nettles were fabulous). My husband was happy w/ the half-order of pasta to start, less thrilled w/ the moroccan-style fish that followed. And the servers weren't as attentive or mellow as usual, given, we assumed, the crowded room.

But that's not why I'm writing.

At tables all around us, people were on their smart phones. You looked up to a glare of lighted screens. And in that beautiful craftsman space, with all the grace of design that they've worked to create, there was this silent clatter (no phones actually rang--the "noise" was all visual).

I don't want to say it spoiled the atmosphere. It actually made me pay closer attention to my husband and our food, as I worked to not let my gaze wander!

So here are my questions. What Bay Area restaurants restrict the use of these devices? And how do they go about monitoring/enforcing a no-phone-ipad-et.al. rule, in an era, where people (at least of a certain demographic) seem unable to be together, enjoying dinner companions and atmosphere and great food--enjoying being in the moment-- w/out checking the latest Facebook status or email message?

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