13 April 2014

PARDON ME WHILE I STUDY THE MENU

Salt's Cure, Los Angeles. Chalkboard menu of April 12, 2014. Photo J. Matthews.
Those of you who have been with this blog since I started it in 2009 know that, from time to time, I've commented on the design of restaurant menus. It was a post entitled "Menu Minimalism" (1-10-09), in fact--a cultural interpretation of the syntactical habit so many gourmet menus then had (and still have) of describing dishes by lists of principal ingredients with only commas between them--that launched The Eye in Dining. Since then, I've penned a couple of commentaries on menus. I didn't plan it this way, but they both deal with questions of size ("Big Menu, Small Menu," posted 6-25-09, and the more recent "Sizing Up the Menu Size" of 7-20-12). 

Lately, things have gotten more serious between me and menus. The more I study restaurants, aesthetically and operationally, the more I see the key role they play. Menus are, after all, much more than lists. They are among the most powerful mediators of restaurant experience. I am now hard at work writing a book about their designs and functions.

My apologies in advance to readers of this blog as I devote the considerable time needed to produce this book. On The Eye in Dining, I hope to share, here and there, related musings and status reports as the project matures. These will take time. Pardon me while I study the menu….



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