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“Small plates designed for sharing”

“Small plates designed for sharing”
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  • “Small plates designed for sharing”

    Post #1 - April 8th, 2019, 8:15 pm
    Post #1 - April 8th, 2019, 8:15 pm Post #1 - April 8th, 2019, 8:15 pm
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/opin ... er-50.html

    I have not seen anyone comment on Frank Bruni’s article from the NYT on how our views about restaurants change as we get older. As I get older and have eaten out a great deal, although nowhere near as much as Bruni, I appreciate more restaurants that know what they do well and care about their customers-especially regulars.

    I also like honest restaurants. Ones that recognize the basic way restaurants make money—buy stuff, fix it up,and then sell it. I think it was a quote from Joe Bastianich’s book “Restaurant Man”. A particular pet peeve that makes me think that the owners believe I am an idiot is small plates for sharing. Especially when “we” or “chef” recommends 3 or 4 plates per person. I can do multiplication. It’s an annoying gimmick to make more money in a tough business, but I hear it so often that it’s just gotten old.

    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. And don’t get me started on “are you still working on that?”
  • Post #2 - April 12th, 2019, 9:06 am
    Post #2 - April 12th, 2019, 9:06 am Post #2 - April 12th, 2019, 9:06 am
    Plus I have never understood this concept of "small plates designed for sharing". I mean, WTF?? I thought you shared large platters! If you are giving me a small plate of 3 white asparagus spears, grilled, with a dressing of something or the other; I ain't sharing that shit.
    The art of living well and art of dying well are one. ---Epicurus
  • Post #3 - April 12th, 2019, 9:29 am
    Post #3 - April 12th, 2019, 9:29 am Post #3 - April 12th, 2019, 9:29 am
    This has infuriated me for years. It's classic restaurant double-speak. Small plates are, by their nature, not meant for sharing. That's why they're small.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - April 12th, 2019, 12:44 pm
    Post #4 - April 12th, 2019, 12:44 pm Post #4 - April 12th, 2019, 12:44 pm
    Respectfully disagree. Whether small or large, when dishes are designed "for sharing," that means to me there are several identical bites on the plate so multiple people can get a taste. I really like that kind of dining. If there are more than two of us, we always ask how many pieces are on the "small plate" so we know how many to order. I generally enjoy having small amounts of multiple items as opposed to a big slab of one item. Small plates for sharing makes a meal into a quasi tasting menu.

    Just shows how hard the restaurant business is; one person's pet peeve is another's preference!
  • Post #5 - April 12th, 2019, 12:55 pm
    Post #5 - April 12th, 2019, 12:55 pm Post #5 - April 12th, 2019, 12:55 pm
    Jonah wrote:Respectfully disagree. Whether small or large, when dishes are designed "for sharing," that means to me there are several identical bites on the plate so multiple people can get a taste. I really like that kind of dining. If there are more than two of us, we always ask how many pieces are on the "small plate" so we know how many to order. I generally enjoy having small amounts of multiple items as opposed to a big slab of one item. Small plates for sharing makes a meal into a quasi tasting menu.

    Just shows how hard the restaurant business is; one person's pet peeve is another's preference!

    Well, you're certainly right that it's hard to please everyone. But it seems to me that the shareability and the overall size of a dish are not directly connected. In my experience, it's pretty rare when a small plate is enough for four people to share. If places are truly interested in providing shareable dishes, maybe they should price them by the portion (it'd be ok to set a minimum) and let each party order the exact number they want.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - April 12th, 2019, 1:17 pm
    Post #6 - April 12th, 2019, 1:17 pm Post #6 - April 12th, 2019, 1:17 pm
    It would be more honest if it was listed as "designed for sharing a bunch of dishes."
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - April 14th, 2019, 8:05 am
    Post #7 - April 14th, 2019, 8:05 am Post #7 - April 14th, 2019, 8:05 am
    The small plates thing has gotten out of hand, no doubt, but the first time I had "small plates," tapas at Emilio's in Hillside sometime in the mid-90s, it seemed like a good idea. The small plates were truly shareable, permitting two or maybe three people to have a few bites of each, which was just fine.

    With the evolution of the market for "small plates," restaurants may, indeed, be using it as a way to squeeze higher prices out of less food, but the original intent seems to have been a good one.

    Due to both age and an increasingly jaded palate, my preference is for smaller plates rather than a big plate of anything, which always -- about half-way through -- starts to feel more like a job than a pleasure, however good the food may be.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - April 15th, 2019, 8:42 am
    Post #8 - April 15th, 2019, 8:42 am Post #8 - April 15th, 2019, 8:42 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:In my experience, it's pretty rare when a small plate is enough for four people to share. If places are truly interested in providing shareable dishes, maybe they should price them by the portion (it'd be ok to set a minimum) and let each party order the exact number they want.

    At places like this, in situations like this, my experience has invariably been that the server notices that we are 4 and alerts us that there are normally 3 portions on the plate, and says "if all 4 of you are sharing, I can easily put 4 portions on the plate." (There's no implication that this will be free, and no inference on our part that it will be, and that's fine.) Granted, this is not as formalized as a price-per-portion on the menu, but it gets the job done.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #9 - April 15th, 2019, 2:52 pm
    Post #9 - April 15th, 2019, 2:52 pm Post #9 - April 15th, 2019, 2:52 pm
    I've always found small plates to be the perfect sharing size for a couple, allowing you to try a ton of things without getting bogged down finishing one plate of food. When you start getting into tables of four, the sharing ranges from fine to "how can I fairly divide a single beet?" In that case, I think it's best to straight up ask the server if we should order two of a dish to make sure we get enough. I also don't think it's really a scam because you are paying for labor in a restaurant and small plates can be very labor intensive.
  • Post #10 - April 22nd, 2019, 4:24 am
    Post #10 - April 22nd, 2019, 4:24 am Post #10 - April 22nd, 2019, 4:24 am
    Jennie and I always share whatever we order at a restaurant. We simply eat half of whatever is on the plate and then pass the plates across the table to each other. Even at a traditional restaurant, we will often order 4 appetizers rather than 2 main courses. We love small plate concepts.

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