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Why I Still Eat Out

Why I Still Eat Out

Leona Taylor | Chef's Blade

What is it about new restaurants that get me so excited? Can’t we just stay home and cook, secure in the knowledge that good food made well is not only enough, it’s also more affordable? Of course we can’t. Because the restaurant, most particularly the new restaurant is like a candy store for the senses. With all the doom and gloom on the economical horizon you’d think restaurants would be empty, and unfortunately some are, but take a trip to a new restaurant and you might just forget it’s raining foreclosures outside.

The creative spark, of course, is a huge part of what fires our interest. From the dramatic interior design choices to the simplicity of well-chosen bread, it’s the little elements when tied together just right that feed our desire to partake and participate. Reading a new menu becomes a mini-voyage to an exotic local where quail are escalated with chicken mousseline, raisins and shallots, and laid to rest on tiny beds of spinach, and where Bastilla becomes my new favorite word. Not to mention the wines, so many wines.

In a new restaurant there are new wines, new cocktails, new mixologists and their new devotees; a virtual whirling dervish of a feast for the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It is this experience and sense of otherworldliness that draws us out of our homes and our own kitchens into the cool night air.

The restaurant provides a chance to journey to Spain or an Italian village, to swim in cool lakes of sake and lotus, or be accompanied by the urban beats of salsa and al pastor. It is this little voyage of sensory theater that keeps restaurants in my budget and lingering on my mind… guilt-free and well-fed.