Like all things in the food biz, menus go through various phases. While the prevailing trend among many of today’s chefs is to give the diner as much info about the food as possible by highlighting regional and artisan ingredients and cutting-edge cooking techniques such as sous vide on menus, there’s a backlash against this wordy style. In fact, a few restauranteurs are intentionally writing menus that are so cryptic that diners need a server to help them decode their choices.
Their intentionally vague menu includes dishes like “wandering free bird caught by sticky steamed buns” and “no noodling celery root lasagne wild with shrooms.”
Vdara’s spokesperson Gianfranco Pellicori goes on to tell Bizbash that “We want people to ask our floor staff questions. We want to make sure there is interaction with our clients.”
Personally, I go out to a restaurant to visit with my friends; having a pleasant, well-informed server with personality can enhance the evening but I’m not counting on spending a lot of time discussing the menu or becoming bff’s with the wait staff. Socializing with my guests is my priority.
What do you guys think? Am I an out-of-date stick in the mud or do you agree that a menu that is purposely puzzling is a silly idea?
[7:47 a.m. Tuesday – post ETA: I just checked the Vdara menu online and it seems to have been rewritten – evidence that people wanted a clearer understanding? I think so!]