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Is fine dining dead, dying, or none of the above?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

^

post #2 of 18

In the best of instances, "evolving".

post #3 of 18

when the market crashed in the late 80's/early 90's didn't we see the same trend towards no table clothes and bistro menus?

post #4 of 18

Oops, sorry - I posted in a Professional forum, by mistake.


Edited by Ishbel - 9/17/11 at 6:34am
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimind View Post

when the market crashed in the late 80's/early 90's didn't we see the same trend towards no table clothes and bistro menus?

 

Yeah cost of linen rentals is ridiculous man.  The trend now is going minimalist on the interior design.  I mean open rafters, unfinished floors, but damn good food.

post #6 of 18
I would say evolving. Fine dine has become more of an "adventure" now than a couple of years ago. (as you can see by my name i live in the scandinaivian regions of europe) over here the
Most fine establishments relly give you some cool and "out there" menus/dishes. Look at Noma, denmark or esperanto stockholm or frantzen/lindberg who all have 1-2 stars in the guide. And when i only maybe can talk for myselfe that you want to be amezed by booth taste aswell as the imagination and philosofy of the chefs menu. This is maybe not the answer to the question if fine dine is dead but i think that the big masses of people that are visiting the fine dine restaurants is more aware and really want to be dazzeld. And that has become harder so the competition on the fine dine battelfeild is kinda hard.

So fine dine has become more like going to the theatre or to a movie than just eat. And its also my belive that the resturants one step below "fine dine" on the ladder is really getting better and give a rustik and more laidback version of the fine dine

Hope this made any sense
post #7 of 18

Location, Location  has a lot to do with it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #8 of 18

its evolving for sure. foods getting better while the elegance is going down. now a' days people dont want to sit and eat for hours on end and have to wear thier church clothes just to get in to a restaurant. in my opinion its about good service and GREAT food, not all the little bells and whistles

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalspic View Post

its evolving for sure. foods getting better while the elegance is going down. now a' days people dont want to sit and eat for hours on end and have to wear thier church clothes just to get in to a restaurant. in my opinion its about good service and GREAT food, not all the little bells and whistles

Um, not sure where you are located, but around my town, your restaurant clothes make you over dressed for church wink.gif, and that is difficult for me to accept. Men around here wear a suit twice in their lives, the day they get married and the day they get buried.
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Um, not sure where you are located, but around my town, your restaurant clothes make you over dressed for church wink.gif, and that is difficult for me to accept. Men around here wear a suit twice in their lives, the day they get married and the day they get buried.

 



Sounds just like where I live as well. I'll never understand why guys have to wear their caps inside.....

post #11 of 18

Here they don't even wear long pants.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #12 of 18
I dont think that most good restaurants care about dresscodes and that is a good thing in my opinion. A friend of mine didnt even take of his cap when we ate at a one star guide michellin star restaurant. Kinda funny whit the stiff waiters brushing of the breadcrumbs from the table whit that ridicoulus silver brush and folding the napkin everytime you leave the table. The thing is that the food that evning was the best meal of my life and the service was the best ive ever experienced BUT the way the serving was done in made me feel really unatease and ridicoulus.

I really like the way the buissnes is evolving whit the pellegrino top 100 list and the new local restaurant guides (like in sweden we got the white guide that really has become legit) restaurants is about food and the experience nowdays and hopefully this will keep evolving.
post #13 of 18

NordicFood.  Sorry have to disagree with you re. dress code . Most quality orirented upscale restaurants and clubs do still invoke a dress code.

There are still some that will loan you a jacket and in some cases a tie. In many cases the setting and the ambiance of a place enhances the food experience.They want to keep everything top shelf and by enforcing a dress code adds to this. I myself although always dressing Florida casual when going into a fine place will wear a jacket out of respect for the place and the other patrons. I believe, as does the operator of the place it makes the food taste better. I am not talking Chiles or Applebees or Olive Garden type places, these places as long as you bring$ you could wear Saran Wrap.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #14 of 18

I think it is important to try and define what "fine dining" is before we start debating whether or not it's on its way out, decked to the nines and ready to be put six feet under.

 

Does it have to do with the look of the restaurant -- the decor, the ambience, etc?

Staff - service definitely has to be high quality, does the staff have to be dressed to impress or is a shaggy haired, tattooed line cook the picture of new fine dining service?

Product - has to be high quality

Dishes - do they have to be presented in a visually stunning way? They definitely have to taste great.

 

And anything else that may distinguish fine dining from casual or casual-fine. I know there are places here that service delicious food, but I would hesitate to call them fine dining, I think the term encompasses much more than quality of product and the how the food tastes.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBoyarG View Post

I think it is important to try and define what "fine dining" is before we start debating whether or not it's on its way out, decked to the nines and ready to be put six feet under.

 

Does it have to do with the look of the restaurant -- the decor, the ambience, etc?

Staff - service definitely has to be high quality, does the staff have to be dressed to impress or is a shaggy haired, tattooed line cook the picture of new fine dining service?

Product - has to be high quality

Dishes - do they have to be presented in a visually stunning way? They definitely have to taste great.

 

And anything else that may distinguish fine dining from casual or casual-fine. I know there are places here that service delicious food, but I would hesitate to call them fine dining, I think the term encompasses much more than quality of product and the how the food tastes.

 

Thank you for that........"fine dining" ....the word......is so ambiguous. Many places will serve steaks, and chops and refer to themselves as fine dining. It is done to garner business of course but once seated it is quite obvious that the place in fact is no such animal.

The really high end places that feature celebrity Chefs are staffed and the Chef is not even back there cooking your meal. The restaurant uses the celebrity name.....again...to garner business.

You are correct ChefBoyarG about the various steps needed in order to be called a fine dining restaurant.....and even then some people would not call such a place fine dining.
 

 

post #16 of 18

I agree with ChefBoyarG too. I'm not sure if I've ever even been in a fine dining restaurant or not. I've been to restaurants that had white table cloths, but the food was fairly simple and the plating very plain.'Course back at that time nobody squirted stuff all over your plate with a squeeze bottle. At least not around here. There were the supper clubs. People considered them fine dining, but again, nothing really fancy. I suppose the term fine dining changes with the times as the food trends change. Stars don't really mean anything as they give Michelin stars to diners. Nothing wrong with that, if they are the best of their type, they can get a star. The Michelin guide is after all meant to direct travelers to clean places with good food, not necessarily fancy food. I guess in this era I would equate fine dining with an innovative menu, polished service and yes, tablecloths and people who are dressed for an evening out. It's the whole experience as a package, not just the food or the decor. All of it together. Don't know how long you'll be able to get people to dress up though. It's already gotten so if an occasion is considered formal, they wear the black NASCAR t-shirt. 

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBoyarG View Post

I think it is important to try and define what "fine dining" is before we start debating whether or not it's on its way out, decked to the nines and ready to be put six feet under.

 

Does it have to do with the look of the restaurant -- the decor, the ambience, etc?

Staff - service definitely has to be high quality, does the staff have to be dressed to impress or is a shaggy haired, tattooed line cook the picture of new fine dining service?

Product - has to be high quality

Dishes - do they have to be presented in a visually stunning way? They definitely have to taste great.

 

And anything else that may distinguish fine dining from casual or casual-fine. I know there are places here that service delicious food, but I would hesitate to call them fine dining, I think the term encompasses much more than quality of product and the how the food tastes.

 

An excellent and thoughtful post, thank you.
 

 

"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

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"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

Reply
post #18 of 18

I would say it's gaining momentum. America hasn't really been a culinary power house until now and the average American prefers "all you can eat" rather than "gourmet cuisine". That's not meant to be rude, but as a whole we just don't understand fine food. Although, Americans are starting to get interested in "gourmet" and "fine dining" after the recent influx of TV chefs. (Call it the culinary renaissance, if you must.) I'm guessing that it is and will gain a lot of trend now and in the future.

 

Although, that doesn't means that there will be a huge demand for fine dining in the near future. I thinking the real money is in more upscale casual but affordable restaurants. I live in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area and we just got a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in town. You would associate WP with fine dining expensive food, but ours is a bistro and is very affordable. I'm friends with the sous-chef and he told me that this restaurant is doing better than Wolfgang's restaurants in LA and in Las Vegas. Isn't that weird?!?!?!?!?!

 

If you can make 'gourmet' affordable and recognizable to the average person, that's, in my opinion, where the real money is.

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