© 2009 shelley wyatt Sweetiepie

Can I HATE chain restaurants?



The stunning interior above is the Sweetiepie restaurant in NYC. I first happened upon the photos in a recent issue of ELLE magazine and was so pleased to see this extravagant use of fuchsia, I vowed this was going to top my list of spots to hit in NYC. The playful interior celebrates all in us that craves delicious fun. All of the greige restaurants in the world just turned Green….with envy…..over this pink palace.

This got me thinking about my dining choices and because I live in a tourist city and restaurants of all kinds abound, I often feel overwhelmed by the options and do the unthinkable…..The thing I HATE…Sometimes I go to a chain restaurant.…You heard me…..The other day, as my family coasted toward a national chain for a quick bite, I exclaimed “turn the car around! We are going to SCRATCH!” Scratch is a lovely new French restaurant here in town and for what it would have cost us to eat at a lousy chain with awful decor, we were able to indulge in a sensory experience. For me, it is not just about the food. It has to be about the vibe of the place too. With the economy the way it is (there, I said it) and all of us spending less frivolously, I think we all would like more value for our dollar. It seems backward at first to go all out…..almost noble to sacrifice and make do.  But really, we should be using our dollar in a more discriminating manner. I walked out of SCRATCH having enjoyed fresh, organic, hand made food. We had a great conversation with the owner who packed up a French Macaroon on ice to preserve the “fragile filling” and had no irritated college  server rushing us to get up so the next party could be seated. Instead, we sat, in peace, only overhearing the 2 French women and 2 elderly girlfriends speaking intelligently over their Brie sandwiches. Our 9 year old got a lesson in culture and fine ingredients and presentation and I was able to gaze across the space to a wall filled with uniformly framed fashion photos (see video).

Buying and enjoying good food, investing in strong, authentic decor items, and never scrimping on your wardrobe basics means value. Investing in your own joy is never wasted. Cheers to these 2 dining establishments for providing a reason to spend and enjoy.

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One Comment

  1. Tamela
    Posted 27 Jun ’09 at 7:51 am | #

    Thanks for the reminder that in this fast paced world we often forget to “stop and smell the roses” or should I say, stop and savor the flavor. Eating is the perfect opportunity to slow down enjoy the company of loves ones, or if alone, simply hit the reset button. If you are going to take the time to eat, why not make it a pleasurable experience for all your senses? The décor in your photos reminds us that dining can, and should, be an opportunity to treat ourselves entirely. You are so correct that it does not have to be about a big expense. Simple pleasures are all around for the taking!

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