Francis Lam on the Importance of Good Service

Francis Lam writes for Gourmet about the need for good service when it comes to fine dining:

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to expect good service out of fine dining. Maybe it’s because my soul is dying. Or maybe it’s because as the price increases, as expectations rise, the stakes get higher, and the effects of the service are more noticeable. A tasting-menu dinner is sort of an object lesson in that; being such a long, concentrated experience, the sum of its parts really matters. At some point, intense concentration on any one thing—food, a show, a poem—is fatiguing, and the other factors that contribute to the experience—the stiffness of the chair, an empty water glass, a server’s smarm—can creep in from the margins, infecting the center.

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