Ever think about food photography and Internet dating in tandem? Come on, don't be shy. You know you've logged on to OkCupid, or Match, or eHarmony or whatever, and looked at pictures of prospective dates and thought, oh my, I've gotta have that. Same thing happens when you're checking out a restaurant review, or one of those sexy slide shows Nick is always pulling together. You look at all of these stunning photographs and think, my, that looks good.
And then you go to the cafe, bar or restaurant to meet the object of your desire, and as soon as you lay your eyes on that for which you have lusted so long, the wind slips from your balloon in a crass reverberating sigh that leaves you with only one possible compliment. Wow. That was some good photography.
After I've completed my dining at a restaurant I'm reviewing, I let our photographer know where to go, and what I'd like shot, and nine times out of 10it's hard to recognize the plates that come back. Dishes are wiped a bit cleaner, steaks are a little thicker, and embellishments are stacked higher, presumably because the chef or owner knows that many prospective customers will choose a plate, or even a restaurant, just because of the visual appeal of that photo. It's a bit like cropping that sixth finger or a beer gut out of a picture before adding it to your dating profile.
When I walked into my office and saw the printed proof for Oak, the subject of this week's review, I was thrilled. It was exactly the plate that was served to me, save an edible flower of two in various colors. All the photos that came back from this review match what I encountered when eating my way through the menu. For once, what's being advertised is exactly what you'll get. And these plates are more than good enough to take home to Mom.
Oak's a keeper.