I missed picking up the Montreal Gazette weekend edition last Saturday. We usually spend weekends there after a particularly appealing edition of the "Weekend Life" section sits around the living room, with its restaurant and wine reviews, ads for concerts or museum exhibits. Or observations on pop culture like these grievances with the current Montreal scene as provided by Lesley Chesterman, the paper's featured restaurant critic. I like this one:
How’s it going?” and “How’s everything here?” are two questions I relish hearing during dinner. Once is good, twice is fine. But recently I was asked 12 times how my dinner was over the course of the evening by about five employees. Really? Also, was it so important to know how my meal was going to interrupt my conversation to ask? And as much as I love sommeliers and enjoy a few details about the wine, I don’t need a masters thesis on oenology. Yes, it’s interesting to know whether that Bordeaux I’m drinking is from a Left or Right Bank winemaker, but I don’t need to know that it has partially undergone malolactic fermentation and is made in a château with a 20-metre-long sorting table. Malolactic what?
Given the new trend in faux science with good beer, it's not hard to think of the equivalent. The tedious "curated" craft beer place that tells you way more dubious data about each brew than could ever be taken in during a evening out. But what other offences again humanity are there in the world of good beer and good beer bars? A menu that looks like an eighth grader in 1993 wrote it? Oh, goodie! A mushroom burger and curly fries!! Or the overly precious small pour, the arrival of the evil snifter due to some alleged issue of the strength of the beer even as the next table gets round after round of pints of hefty IPA.
Turn it around if you want to be positive. What small thing could be added? Chesterman's list, after all, is based on the benefit of years of experience, how service and plates have pleased and disappointed.