Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to dine in some restaurants that are considered “fine dining.” But, what exactly makes a restaurant “fine dining”? Here are the things that I look for:
* The menu is simple, yet creative. You shouldn’t find items on the menu that you feel that you could prepare yourself.
* The ingredients that are used are exceptional to rare. This means that the chef takes care in what comes out of the kitchen, and doesn’t just go to the local market and select what I would select.
* The service is delicately appropriate. This means that you don’t have to stand up at the end of the meal and “hail a server.”
* The noise level in the restaurant is moderate to quiet. You can actually have a conversation with friends without shouting.
* The décor is well thought out and planned. It is pleasant to look at; not overwhelming, but serves as a backdrop both in color and style to the food. The food is the main attraction.
Recently, while visiting Washington, DC I discovered two (2) restaurants that fit this category: Corduroy,which is across from the Convention Center, and The Grill Room at the Capella Hotel in Georgetown. Both provide an excellent fine dining experience, wanting to repeat.