Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Time for Silence

Now this has me thinking.

I feel like I "put up" with music when I eat out, although I'm surprisingly capable of tuning it out when I dine solo. But dining not-solo is another matter. Maybe the best soundtrack to a superlative dining experience is nothing more than conversation--and I'm not fussy about the topic; it could be a brilliant counterpoint about the food and wine, your laundry, and that sensational young pianist who just performed with the symphony. But music? It distracts...from the food and wine (if that's what I want to pay attention to) and from the conversation (if that's what I want to pay attention to) and makes me wonder: does this dining experience merit the challenge of this aural distraction? Usually the answer is no. But as I say, I "put up" with it, from the tasteful jazz at two beloved haunts to the dj'd electronic sets at the chicest place I know of to drink infinite glasses of exceptional Riesling. Sigh... I have, however, boycotted a certain coffeehouse because the music is just TOO LOUD.

And to eat my own words: I absolutely adore a particular grocery store at Shattuck and Vine where they play classical music. Yes. Grocery shopping with Beethoven. I'm down with that. Maybe I should break down and buy an iPod.


What bothers me more is music that is provided apparently not for the diners but for the staff. But what's wrong with hearing music that fits the cuisine. Spanish music in a tapas bar, Chinese Pipa music in a noodle house? Seems right to me.

Music vs cuisine discord is one of my pet peeves, and I've ruminated about it over here...

--Richard Friedman

By Blogger Heather, at 6:59 PM  

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