When choosing a restaurant it is all about the reason or reasons behind the event. Is it an intimate meal for two, a meal with the family or just a day out with a friend? Many occasions have different needs, however when one chooses to dine out it is all about having a celebrated, time with family, love ones, friends and a meal; no grocery shopping needed, cooking, or clean up. As a consumer, one needs to know the difference between family and fine dining in order to receive the maximum experience of their dining occasion. We all have seen a plate of food that makes us want to curl on the sofa, turn on the television and look at a good movie or television show and devour that whole plate in the opening credits of the flick. That is the feelings that comfort foods give rise to. That is the aspiration of family dining experience to transport that feeling to each plate and every guest they serve. This is achieved by plating that looks full and has the manifestation of tastiness. Portion control is not the primary factor in plating. Now at the other end of the spectrum, there is fine dining, which some may view as the better or the higher end of the culinary industry? Fine dining is all about the art of the food and showcasing it in the most unique form that the chef could bring forth from inside the mind.
It can be match up to, Picasso with paint, so is a Chef with food, the plate becomes the blink center canvas; it is the visual stimulation that they are appealing to, just as much as the taste. That is achieved by the protein of the meal becoming the star and the vegetables, starch and sauces filling the supporting actor’s roles, working together in harmony to awaken all the senses and amaze the recipient of the plate. Again many people feel that cost of an item is directly related to the quality of it, and in some cases this is true, however, the quality of the food that is generated out of either kitchen is of the highest quality in terms of standards set by the F.D.A. (Food and Drug Administration) as well as the local food and safety inspector’s office. Where the difference of taste and style are born is in the preparation of the foods. Whether it is a cook or chef, both want to express them self through the food that they create, they just do it in different ways. In the fine dining preparation is geared towards single elegant dishes that make use of the eyes.
Where as in family dining it all about slow cooked foods for deep rich mouth watering flavors that only the cook who is preparing the dish can do it that way, and most likely he or she is the only living person on earth to have the recipe. This is geared to connect with the craving of your soul. The complete Atmosphere of the restaurant is the greatest difference that the guest will see, feel, and notice. The atmosphere in bodies the whole dining experience so it is important to know what to look forward to with each of the two dining experiences. When one walks into a family style establishment it is all about comfort and making you feel at home from the time you are welcomed at the door by the host with a smile, a menu, and set down and told the specials all in one breath. Homemade desserts might be on display, and you might hear sounds coming from the kitchen and the servers and guest laughing and talking a few feet away. When one walks into fine dining establishment it is formal from the start to end.
You are greeted; your reservation confirmed, escorted to your table set down, the wine list is provided for you, and you are given the chefs specials. Not a thing is out of place, depending on the amount of courses your forks will be lined up perfectly, the spoons will be set aside the butter and cheese knives and the three glasses set to precise angles. The décor of the two are as different as day and night. The family restaurant is one that is geared to making the guest feel as if the restaurant could be someone’s home. Their grandmother is in the kitchen cooking and will be out at any minute to join the family; one might really feel like almost taking a look to check even, if she were not standing right next to them. Conversely a fine dining restaurant is set-up to make the guest feel as if they were the whole place was set up for them, and they are the most important guest that they will be graced with serving. These are done in very exclusive ways such as, in family dining the seats and booths are set In that the whole room is visual from all angles. In fine dining the room is set for more privacy and the focal point will be limited to the surrounding areas not a full open view.
Whether it is the glitz and glam of the fine dining or the comfort and thoughts of mom’s apple pie that comes back to mind each time you visit your local family dinner, both are amazing ways to spend time and sharing old memories and to creating some new ones with love ones or friends. Food is not just one of the foundations of life; it is also one of the components of art. As with any form of art, the artist’s only goal is to share his or her passion of life on; canvas, paper in the form of poems, sculpture, or one dish at a time. In fine dining it the beauty of the dish the feeds the visual, and in family dining it is the comfort of the food that is feeding the soul. With so many great restaurants to choose from, it will be a great day or night out. Just remember to review the key points that have been laid out and take pleasure in family, food and fun. Do not forget to take a doggy bag home for the four legged family friend that was unable to attend.