Restaurant menus [classic article]

I know that it was such a ’90’s thing to have a lot of copy on the menu. People made fun of menus that described “grassy notes,” Shenandoah apples, or whatever. I never did, though. I like reading cookbooks and am able to imagine the flavor of things by how they are described.

I also like knowing if certain ingredients are local, special or otherwise noteworthy. The other day, I was reading about how great chefs take for granted using fine butters, for instance. I wish, though, that they would not take it so for granted. If there are little special touches in a meal that I should be aware of, I want to be aware of them. And sure, if I can occasionally reproduce the effects at home, that wouldn’t make me stay away from the restaurant.

Also, I was recently reading a vintage book on fine dining menus going back more than a century. Apparently, they are quite the collector’s items. I remember sometimes that my parents would sneak a great menu back home to me when I was a little kid. I wish I still had them. I also wish that menus were the great artistic statements that they used to be.

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