It is interesting that it can be considerred desirable to dine under rather miserable conditions in the latest big name/association restaurant. We recently went to one such. Worst about it was the noise level--constant, for the two hours it took for them to feed us--the worst acoustics of any restaurant in which I have eaten! We were packed in like sardines. One had to turn sideways to get out past other tables, in an unattractive room on a drab street. Not enough light to read the menu. No bread, no olive oil or butter. And the place was packed on a Tuesday night.
I'm sure that the servers earn a lot of money, at least I hope so. It has got to be miserable working there, since the discomfort engenders hostility. I dont know how much; we saw some, and we certainly didn't communicate any of our own dissatisfaction.
Oh yes, the food. It was good, very good--not great though--and if it had been great, would it have been worth the physical discomfort? I dont think so. It occured to me that take out was a solution. however, they dont do take out.
So these diners are the opposite of our customers. Indeed, we recognized no one there. We have no fancy named chef who is,of course, not present. We have space between tables Very little noise. A beautiful view. Home made bread. Butter. Good olive oil. And our customers tell us that the food is good, very good. To each his (or her) own!
Recently we went to two restaurants that we liked. We returned to Navaratna in Stamford. It is an Indian all vegetarian restaurant. It was comfortable and the food was good. Stamford now boasts 2 of our go-to restaurants: Fez and Navaratna.
And we have now been three times to Shiraz, in Elmsford, New York. It is only a half hour from Westport and well worth the trip. This is Persian (Iranian) cuisine. It surprised me in that there were so many differences from Turkish and Syrian food. Also, ther seems to be a lot that borrows from India, with a slightly different slant. Lots of vegetarian appetizers and at least five different pilafs. And they do make the most amazing rice dishes. Perhaps best of all is the grocery store next door with many kinds of basmati rice, an incredible selection of spices and Iranian cookbooks.