Question Of The Week: Why Do People Congregate In The Kitchen?

We're talking about those times when you have guests over for drinks, of course. Despite the comfy chair and nice leather couch, the dining room table or poolside patio, everyone eventually gathers in the kitchen. This is so even when the space is cramped, narrow or has one of those 70s avocado-colored refrigerators as a centerpiece. Even when finger foods are laid out in another room. Why is this? What's the attraction?

Results from last week, in which we asked how 'fine dining' should be defined:

Three very different responses to this one. The ever-wise luniz expects a certain amount of pretense to fining dining establishments, but adds: "I don't think it's the price that makes a place fine dining, rather the atmosphere I suppose, and good (enough) food would certainly be expected." Margie, on the other hand, considered the local market and noted "I've been wracking my brain to come up with even one example of fine dining that doesn't come with a serious price tag."

Meanwhile, one Gus Mitchem echoed Margie's "great food with a bad atmosphere and poor service just isn't worth paying more" and figured she must have been referring to The Oceanaire.

Ah, well. Like luniz, we think the term is still relevant. But the question boiled down to this: are places like Suze 'fine dining' establishments? The cooking suggests so, but the casual nature says otherwise. So we agree with luniz and Margie. Weighing price, food and atmosphere, the latter is most important in defining "fine dining."