Does your favorite restaurant depend on the atmosphere or just the food?
The other evening my husband surprised me by taking me out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. While we sat and talked over our drinks, waiting on the appetizers, I looked around the room, I mean really looked at it and wondered why I enjoyed coming there so much. The food was great, the service was always top-notch, but it was more than that. I loved the rich, dark, wood of the walls and floors, and the big open windows that let in light to make it bright. I loved the hominess of the décor, the soft-lighting, and the candles on the white tablecloths. There was a warmth, that was so appealing, it was almost like being at a good friend’s home for dinner. My husband asked me why I was looking all around, and I told him my thoughts. He agreed with me. It wasn’t just about the food, this place meant we could relax and talk, like we do at home in our own kitchen, except there was no cooking, or dirty dishes to do. He said, “I feel good coming here.”
I bet if you think about the places you like to eat at, you’ll discover there’s more to them than just the food. Of course, we have to take our mood into consideration, and whom we’re dining with, too. Sometimes a restaurant is appealing because of its liveliness, vibrant colors, welcoming ambiance, and vibes that say, “Come on in and party with us!” When I’m out with my good friends and we’re celebrating something, that’s the type of place we go to. There’s a great little spot on a lake not far from my home, that is just plain simple as far as décor goes. There’s a bar-like atmosphere, picnic tables on the dock-side, and paper cups and napkins, but it’s a place that just oozes “relaxation” and good times with friends. Sometimes there’s a live band and that makes the time even more special. I love being on the water, and it reminds me of boating.
I have a friend who told me her favorite restaurant is one that is an old Victorian home, turned into a sweet little place for steak or fettuccini, with a great wine list, and awesome Bloody Mary’s. She enjoys the small tables for two, and the big high ceilings covered in tin. She said there are mirrors that make the room feel wider than it is, but she likes knowing she’s really eating in someone’s parlor from the early 1900’s. The décor is clean with linen-covered tables, and ladder-back chairs, but the colors of the home remain completely Victorian, and she especially likes the china cabinet in the corner of the room displaying rose-covered dishes. “Sometimes I feel as if I’ve gone back in time when we go there,” she told me. “It’s just a warm little restaurant, with lots of charm, and character.” I told her it sounds like a great place to have lunch the next time I come and visit!
The next time you go out to one of your favorite places, really look at the décor, and see why it has a certain appeal to you. Is there something about it that you’d like to copy in your own home? Does it relax you after a long day? Do the colors energize you or remind you of another place? Perhaps you go to a seafood restaurant not only because you love seafood, but also because it reminds you of the beach vacations you enjoy so much. Or maybe your favorite spot is woodsy, with a big fireplace, and lodge-like. It takes you back to those ski trips you took in the mountains. When you go there, you enjoy the warmth and smells because they remind you of another time in your life. Just think about it the next time you go out for a bite to eat. Why are you drawn to that place? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts, and find out what keeps you going to a certain place.
In the meantime, “Bon-appetite!”
Tami Loves…anywhere that friends gather to share a meal.