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  • Post #451 - September 4th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    Post #451 - September 4th, 2009, 7:45 pm Post #451 - September 4th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    May I ask in sincere curiosity why some people refer to the restaurant as L.20? I was referring to it as L2O but I looked and technically they write it as L2o (small 'o').

    Is it just that its a bit confusing or is there something I don't know?
  • Post #452 - September 4th, 2009, 7:55 pm
    Post #452 - September 4th, 2009, 7:55 pm Post #452 - September 4th, 2009, 7:55 pm
    when it opened, The Tribune blog and Timeout Chicago were calling it L.20 - other publications were as well. Not sure if they all just had it wrong, or if the restaurant decided to erase the dot.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #453 - September 4th, 2009, 8:09 pm
    Post #453 - September 4th, 2009, 8:09 pm Post #453 - September 4th, 2009, 8:09 pm
    Kennyz wrote:when it opened, The Tribune blog and Timeout Chicago were calling it L.20 - other publications were as well. Not sure if they all just had it wrong, or if the restaurant decided to erase the dot.


    The L2O blog also refers to it as L20 (L two zero) in its link to the restaurant's official website, as does Lettuce Entertain You's website a few times.

    I think the restaurant was just confused about its name for a while.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #454 - September 4th, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Post #454 - September 4th, 2009, 8:16 pm Post #454 - September 4th, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Yeh, weird. Not that it matters, but their website uses both L20 and L2o. Their email signature is "L2o" which is what I was going by.

    Oh well...back to more important things.
  • Post #455 - September 4th, 2009, 8:19 pm
    Post #455 - September 4th, 2009, 8:19 pm Post #455 - September 4th, 2009, 8:19 pm
    DutchMuse wrote:Yeh, weird. Not that it matters, but their website uses both L20 and L2o. Their email signature is "L2o" which is what I was going by.

    Oh well...back to more important things.


    Their website also uses L2O, which I think is the current official way to write the name. For now.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #456 - September 4th, 2009, 8:43 pm
    Post #456 - September 4th, 2009, 8:43 pm Post #456 - September 4th, 2009, 8:43 pm
    Hi,

    Lower case "o" guarantees it is written as a letter as opposed to a numeral. Lots of e-mail addresses go into ether over 0-O-o and 1-L-l.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #457 - September 4th, 2009, 10:26 pm
    Post #457 - September 4th, 2009, 10:26 pm Post #457 - September 4th, 2009, 10:26 pm
    Looks like they recently did their website. Very slick (and kudos for no PDF menus).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #458 - September 4th, 2009, 10:40 pm
    Post #458 - September 4th, 2009, 10:40 pm Post #458 - September 4th, 2009, 10:40 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:The most that may happen is the thread might be split in two. Diverging from the original topic is a mainstay around here.


    Yes, and I think as a historical record of this sometimes wacky, sometimes insightful discussion/rant/harangue, we should preserve it in amber for future generations, untouched and unexpurgatged.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #459 - September 4th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    Post #459 - September 4th, 2009, 10:44 pm Post #459 - September 4th, 2009, 10:44 pm
    I agree, it would be tragic to break the flow of this masterpiece.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #460 - September 4th, 2009, 10:53 pm
    Post #460 - September 4th, 2009, 10:53 pm Post #460 - September 4th, 2009, 10:53 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:The most that may happen is the thread might be split in two. Diverging from the original topic is a mainstay around here.


    Yes, and I think as a historical record of this sometimes wacky, sometimes insightful discussion/rant/harangue, we should preserve it in amber for future generations, untouched and unexpurgatged.

    You left the very last sentence off from my quote, "It also may just remain as-is."

    I ride the fence in response to the earlier community query to remove anything not relavant to L2o or L2O or L20. :D
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #461 - September 4th, 2009, 11:10 pm
    Post #461 - September 4th, 2009, 11:10 pm Post #461 - September 4th, 2009, 11:10 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Yes, and I think as a historical record of this sometimes wacky, sometimes insightful discussion/rant/harangue, we should preserve it in amber for future generations, untouched and unexpurgatged.

    Considering the incentive ($) Kenny Z offered via PM I have a feeling this thread will be "preserved in amber" at 17.5 pages. ;)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #462 - September 4th, 2009, 11:13 pm
    Post #462 - September 4th, 2009, 11:13 pm Post #462 - September 4th, 2009, 11:13 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Yes, and I think as a historical record of this sometimes wacky, sometimes insightful discussion/rant/harangue, we should preserve it in amber for future generations, untouched and unexpurgatged.

    Considering the incentive ($) Kenny Z offered via PM I have a feeling this thread will be "preserved in amber" at 17.5 pages. ;)

    Only 34 more posts to go!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #463 - September 5th, 2009, 5:16 am
    Post #463 - September 5th, 2009, 5:16 am Post #463 - September 5th, 2009, 5:16 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Only 34 more posts to go!


    If that's the case, then this should make it 33, no?
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #464 - September 5th, 2009, 5:23 am
    Post #464 - September 5th, 2009, 5:23 am Post #464 - September 5th, 2009, 5:23 am
    jesteinf wrote:I'm setting the over/under on the length of this thread by 11:59pm on Friday at 17.5. Who's in?

    Small bills please, Josh.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #465 - September 5th, 2009, 5:50 am
    Post #465 - September 5th, 2009, 5:50 am Post #465 - September 5th, 2009, 5:50 am
    jesteinf wrote:Looks like they recently did their website. Very slick (and kudos for no PDF menus).


    Yet oddly, in this effort, they lost the summer menu and put the spring one back up - odd.
  • Post #466 - September 5th, 2009, 9:29 am
    Post #466 - September 5th, 2009, 9:29 am Post #466 - September 5th, 2009, 9:29 am
    Kennyz wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:I'm setting the over/under on the length of this thread by 11:59pm on Friday at 17.5. Who's in?

    Small bills please, Josh.


    Not quite Vegas-level odds setting, but pretty close. You're welcome to set the line on the Schwa thread and we can go double or nothing :wink:
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #467 - September 5th, 2009, 2:31 pm
    Post #467 - September 5th, 2009, 2:31 pm Post #467 - September 5th, 2009, 2:31 pm
    Unethical? What does ethics have to do with it. This is a discussion about art and commerce, not morality.

    Going to a restaurant is a negotiation like buying a car. Is it unethical for me to get a better deal than you get on a car because I'm a better negotiator? Or is it unethical if I know how to call an airline and get a free upgrade to first class when you don't know how to do it? Having a great meal at a restaurant isn't a lesson in egalitariansim, it's a lesson in capitalism. So don't be angry with Dutchmuse etc. for pointing that out. He doesn't set the rules. The restaurants set them and that's how they want the system to work.



    Here's the disconnect that, for me, explains all the other disconnects.

    That's not how I, or most diners or chefs, would explain our approach to eating out.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #468 - September 5th, 2009, 3:11 pm
    Post #468 - September 5th, 2009, 3:11 pm Post #468 - September 5th, 2009, 3:11 pm
    elakin wrote:
    That's not how I, or most diners or chefs, would explain our approach to eating out.


    But that's because you insist on using an old fashioned paradigm that was propogated via an old fashioned media model. That's one of the things I am trying to change on OA.

    Here is a simple concept and let's see if you can get your arms around it. Wouldn't you like to go to the XYZ restaurant and have the chef send the captain to your table to say, "Monsieur Elakin, the chef welcomes you to the restaurant and he would be honored to cook for you." And when you accept, he goes on to tell you that the chef has some very special brontosaurus that evening which he is holding for you if you are interested. Now how can you or anyone here describe that interaction as a bad thing, or how can anyone say, gee I don't want that type of treatment?
  • Post #469 - September 5th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    Post #469 - September 5th, 2009, 3:21 pm Post #469 - September 5th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:Here is a simple concept and let's see if you can get your arms around it


    Aw, c'mon now 'Steve' (if that's your real name)...you're just trying to get to 17.5 pages...
  • Post #470 - September 5th, 2009, 3:32 pm
    Post #470 - September 5th, 2009, 3:32 pm Post #470 - September 5th, 2009, 3:32 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:
    elakin wrote:
    That's not how I, or most diners or chefs, would explain our approach to eating out.


    But that's because you insist on using an old fashioned paradigm that was propogated via an old fashioned media model. That's one of the things I am trying to change on OA.

    Here is a simple concept and let's see if you can get your arms around it. Wouldn't you like to go to the XYZ restaurant and have the chef send the captain to your table to say, "Monsieur Elakin, the chef welcomes you to the restaurant and he would be honored to cook for you." And when you accept, he goes on to tell you that the chef has some very special brontosaurus that evening which he is holding for you if you are interested. Now how can you or anyone here describe that interaction as a bad thing, or how can anyone say, gee I don't want that type of treatment?

    Ok but since anyone can already do this (even though some choose not to), isn't building an actual relationship with the house and a chef what truly sets some diners apart from others? I mean, if I run a restaurant and every single person who's coming in on a given night calls to let me know they're coming -- and requests something special -- I still have to find another way to rank their importance (if indeed I don't have enough special stuff for everyone). At that point, I'm likely going to choose the customers who come in on a regular basis for most special treatment.

    So, I think your approach might work well for a person who travels from city to city accruing dining experiences but its value seems pretty much limited to those circumstances.

    =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 #471 - September 5th, 2009, 3:43 pm
    Post #471 - September 5th, 2009, 3:43 pm Post #471 - September 5th, 2009, 3:43 pm
    More to the point, to sum up 217 pages of this stuff in a single line...

    sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    It didn't work at L2O. C'est la vie.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #472 - September 5th, 2009, 3:58 pm
    Post #472 - September 5th, 2009, 3:58 pm Post #472 - September 5th, 2009, 3:58 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:So, I think your approach might work well for a person who travels from city to city accruing dining experiences but its value seems pretty much limited to those circumstances.

    =R=


    Yes :!:

    It also may follow that the ways of the inter-city restaurant goer do not always work, and in those circumstances, that reviewer is not giving us the best information we need to maximize our experiences.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #473 - September 5th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    Post #473 - September 5th, 2009, 5:11 pm Post #473 - September 5th, 2009, 5:11 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ok but since anyone can already do this (even though some choose not to), isn't building an actual relationship with the house and a chef what truly sets some diners apart from others?


    But that is exactly the point. The quickest way to build a relationship with a restaurant is to identify yourself as a diner who cares more than the average diner. The best way to do that is to say to the kitchen, we are interested in the highest expression of your art so we are going to put ourselves in your hands and we trust you will make the right decisions for our meal.

    mean, if I run a restaurant and every single person who's coming in on a given night calls to let me know they're coming -- and requests something special -- I still have to find another way to rank their importance (if indeed I don't have enough special stuff for everyone). At that point, I'm likely going to choose the customers who come in on a regular basis for most special treatment


    But you see it isn't special treatment that I am interested in. I know that restaurants aren't set up to cater to knowlegable diners, they are geared towards the average diner who doesn't eat out as often as I do. But I also know that they are happy to change gears for a more informed diner because we spend more money, refer more customers, and do a better job of spreading the word about a restaurant.

    The point about diners who go from city to city is on the right track but let me flesh it out a bit for you. What we are really talking about is the difference between the European and American models of dining. In the European model, a high level of trust exists between diner and kitchen and the highest extension of that tradition became a gourmand asking to speak to the chef directly to consult on the evening’s menu. It wasn’t considered a bother by the chef; rather he considered it an honor to serve such distinguished guests. The American model is more egalitarian in nature which is why someone suggesting that the European approach will yield a better result sounds odd to American ears. Unfortunately, the responses to that suggestion always seem to focus on the class aspects of the issue, rather than on the question of whether you will actually eat better using the European model.
  • Post #474 - September 5th, 2009, 5:20 pm
    Post #474 - September 5th, 2009, 5:20 pm Post #474 - September 5th, 2009, 5:20 pm
    Steve, although I find some angles of your perspective positively odd (though supportable, I feel myself agreeing with you, unwillingly), they are driving a very productive discourse on LTH...and your comment about US v. European models hits home. Thanks for coming to Chicago and creating such a ruckus. Really. We need your crazy*, outer edge viewpoint.

    *All due respect: you are idiosyncratic, and that is most cool.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #475 - September 5th, 2009, 8:13 pm
    Post #475 - September 5th, 2009, 8:13 pm Post #475 - September 5th, 2009, 8:13 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Really. We need your crazy*, outer edge viewpoint.

    Not unlike My Dinner with Alien ;)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #476 - September 5th, 2009, 9:27 pm
    Post #476 - September 5th, 2009, 9:27 pm Post #476 - September 5th, 2009, 9:27 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ok but since anyone can already do this (even though some choose not to), isn't building an actual relationship with the house and a chef what truly sets some diners apart from others?


    But that is exactly the point. The quickest way to build a relationship with a restaurant is to identify yourself as a diner who cares more than the average diner. The best way to do that is to say to the kitchen, we are interested in the highest expression of your art so we are going to put ourselves in your hands and we trust you will make the right decisions for our meal.

    mean, if I run a restaurant and every single person who's coming in on a given night calls to let me know they're coming -- and requests something special -- I still have to find another way to rank their importance (if indeed I don't have enough special stuff for everyone). At that point, I'm likely going to choose the customers who come in on a regular basis for most special treatment


    But you see it isn't special treatment that I am interested in. I know that restaurants aren't set up to cater to knowlegable diners, they are geared towards the average diner who doesn't eat out as often as I do. But I also know that they are happy to change gears for a more informed diner because we spend more money, refer more customers, and do a better job of spreading the word about a restaurant.

    The point about diners who go from city to city is on the right track but let me flesh it out a bit for you. What we are really talking about is the difference between the European and American models of dining. In the European model, a high level of trust exists between diner and kitchen and the highest extension of that tradition became a gourmand asking to speak to the chef directly to consult on the evening’s menu. It wasn’t considered a bother by the chef; rather he considered it an honor to serve such distinguished guests. The American model is more egalitarian in nature which is why someone suggesting that the European approach will yield a better result sounds odd to American ears. Unfortunately, the responses to that suggestion always seem to focus on the class aspects of the issue, rather than on the question of whether you will actually eat better using the European model.

    I understand, appreciate and agree with almost all of this. Where the disconnect comes in for me is in pre-announcing to the restaurant that the party will include people from a national publication (or any entity). Only through implication does that communicate anything to the restaurant about your dining goals. Letting the restaurant know that you are "interested in the highest expression of [their] art" is a lot different than implying that you carry influence. The former seems reasonable to me, the latter seems more like an unsavory leverage move. Of course, I realize that in this case, you were not the one who mentioned the part of about the national publication to the restaurant. That's just not something that I would ever do, unless I already had a relationship with the restaurant. Of course, you write a blog, of which you are the sole proprietor. My circumstances, posting mainly here at LTHForum.com, are quite different.

    =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 #477 - September 5th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    Post #477 - September 5th, 2009, 9:44 pm Post #477 - September 5th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Really. We need your crazy*, outer edge viewpoint.

    Not unlike My Dinner with Alien ;)


    So glad to see that Wayne's site is still up.

    Standing by for the Nick Digilio/Gary Wiviott show @ 11.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #478 - September 5th, 2009, 10:26 pm
    Post #478 - September 5th, 2009, 10:26 pm Post #478 - September 5th, 2009, 10:26 pm
    Wouldn't you like to go to the XYZ restaurant and have the chef send the captain to your table to say, "Monsieur Elakin, the chef welcomes you to the restaurant and he would be honored to cook for you." And when you accept, he goes on to tell you that the chef has some very special brontosaurus that evening which he is holding for you if you are interested.



    Nah. Not my bag. I don't mind a little special treatment, but if I have to angle, hint, and drop names to get it, that completely devalues it for me. I want it to be real, genuine, and offered of the establishment's own volition.

    Generally, phony, self-important blow-hards get the fake, trumped up treatment. Oh, sure, when chefs are clued in to the fact that yet another self-proclaimed influential whatever-the-fuck is over at table 22, they usually come out into the dining room, press the flesh, and make a big show of acting like they're cooking something "just for you, because you're so 'special'".

    But, as is the case with all the oh-so-earnest emailed information (as an excuse to send the between-the-lines message of "we are special"), what you will end up getting most of the time is not real. It's not a real expression of The Chef's Art, or whatever overly puffed up descriptor you're using. It's what they keep in their back pocket for the overly entitled folks who demand something "special" (which, at places like L.20, probably tend to be about 65% of the diners on any given night).

    You're just buying into the facade, Plotnicki. It's surprising, actually, given your level of sophistication. But, then, people tend to believe what they want to believe.

    Personally, I would find such an experience hollow and wholly unfulfilling. Like buying sex from a hooker. Sure, you get what you think you want, but because it wasn't offered willingly, it's inevitably going to leave you disappointed.

    What I prefer doing (and what I think would've yielded a far better result for the party in question at L.20) is to just go and be a curious, interested, polite, cordial, appreciative diner. Ask questions. Show interest. Don't make it all about how smart you are and all the great places you've eaten, but try and appreciate that particular place and that particular chef. Staff will usually respond very positively to this sort of approach.

    You may not get extra stuff or special treatment, but you'll probably end up having a better time.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #479 - September 5th, 2009, 11:30 pm
    Post #479 - September 5th, 2009, 11:30 pm Post #479 - September 5th, 2009, 11:30 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I understand, appreciate and agree with almost all of this. Where the disconnect comes in for me is in pre-announcing to the restaurant that the party will include people from a national publication (or any entity).


    I am trying to understand this distinction. What difference does it make if I am introduced as Steve Plotnicki the blogger, publisher of the OA Dining survey, or I walk in an announce I am a gourmand? In each instance the point isn't to create leverage, it's to facilitate communicating that if I am treated in a certain manner, I am in a position to appreciate it. Nothing about any of those announcements requires the restaurant to do anything special, and there is no implication that anyone will be upset if they don't,

    Only through implication does that communicate anything to the restaurant about your dining goals. Letting the restaurant know that you are "interested in the highest expression of [their] art" is a lot different than implying that you carry influence.


    Once again I am trying to understand the distinctiion here. Are you saying that it's okay for me to walk into a restaurant anonymously and ask for their best meal, but not to announce in advance that Steve Plotncki the blogger who is known for wanting a restaurant to prepare the best possible meal to announce himself in advance in order to facilitate getting it? That doesn't really make any sense to me.

    Generally, phony, self-important blow-hards get the fake, trumped up treatment


    They’re not blowhards, they are merely willing to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure a certain result. If it means announcing themselves in advance, or indicating a willingness to pay a premium, so be it. They aren’t doing it to be self-important as you imply, they do it because they love food. In fact considering that they are wiling to do it and you say you aren’t, I think it’s fair to assume that they are more passionate about food than you are. But what is even sillier about your post is the implication that a restaurant prefers customers who are looking to spend $100 on the regular tasting menu, rather than $250 for a special one. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Okay pop quiz: It’s a slow night at Charlie Trotters and there are only two tables of four in the restaurant. One table orders 4 tasting menus at $200 a person, and they have a $500 wine bill. The second table has called in advance and asked the restaurant if they can prepare a special meal for them. They food bill is $400 a person and they spend $1000 on wine. Now the restaurant has had to work a lot harder to satisfy the second table, beginning with sourcing special ingredients, to possibly organizing recipes that are prepared less often and which take more prep time, concluding with Charlie sitting on the kitchen staff’s head to make sure the meal is perfect. And the meal is harder to serve As well because the preparations are more intricate. So which table do you think the restaurant prefers: The one who spent $1300 that they didn’t have to expend any extra effort for or the one who spent $2600 that they broke their backs for.

    D’Uh. And that’s before we even get to this issue of a chef’s pride in his or her work.
  • Post #480 - September 5th, 2009, 11:54 pm
    Post #480 - September 5th, 2009, 11:54 pm Post #480 - September 5th, 2009, 11:54 pm
    Steve Plotnicki wrote:D’Uh.


    I just have to interject with something completely off-topic: D'Uh is not related to D'oh, and so that spelling makes no sense. The correct spelling is "duh".

    That had been bothering me for a while.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.

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