I ENJOY Restaurant Week and usually attend both in summer and winter. But there is no question it needs a considerable spiffing up (“Give chefs room to show off,” Editorial, Aug. 23).
The problem is not just with Restaurant Week. It’s with restaurants — in general, and year-round.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a really good strong cup of black coffee, or freshly brewed dark tea, in any restaurant.
Or a large, simple Caesar salad composed of greens tasting as if they had been gathered in the fields that morning with just a touch of freshly made-up garlic and vinegar dressing.
Or a dish of spaghetti caruso tasting of earthy vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh chicken livers, and mushrooms actually grown somewhere just for the purpose of their taste.
Or any serving of French food anywhere that did not look as if it had been incessantly worried over and moved-around in the kitchen with no apparent thought to anything other than its appearance.
The lesson here for both the food and Restaurant Week is simple. Let’s drop the theatrics and the unintelligible menus and get back to basics. Give us a quiet atmosphere, comfortable chairs and tables, starched cloth napkins, heavy flatware, waiters and waitresses who don’t say much but know everything, and plain, simple, honest food served on old-fashioned china. (With just chocolate cake and homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert.)
And then, if you absolutely must, go ahead and raise the prices.