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What comes just Below 'Fine Dining' ?

What comes just Below 'Fine Dining' ?

Old Feb 3, 2009, 3:59 am
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What comes just Below 'Fine Dining' ?

If Fine Dining is the top of the food chain and McDonalds/street food is the bottom of the food chain, is there a term for restaurants just below Fine Dining but above buffets/cafes/regular restaurants ?
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 4:36 am
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Casual fine dining? Bistro?
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 4:44 am
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Fun Dining.



Bistro/brasserie/grill - any local restaurants.

Last edited by BiziBB; Feb 3, 2009 at 4:50 am
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by Peterpack
If Fine Dining is the top of the food chain and McDonalds/street food is the bottom of the food chain, is there a term for restaurants just below Fine Dining but above buffets/cafes/regular restaurants ?
Not sure about you, but I think that some street food is above McDonalds, if not far above McDonalds.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 4:24 pm
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IMO chef-run restaurants (as opposed to chain-run ones), brasseries etc are the second level and which can move up to the top league if they can win over critics.

Read a guide or two to restaurants suchas the Michelin guide and get an idea of what differentiates the winners (toques/hats, stars etc) from the runners up.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 8:54 pm
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What's all this about brassieres?
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by BiziBB
Fun Dining.



Bistro/brasserie/grill - any local restaurants.
Agreed!
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 1:20 am
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Don't get me wrong I really enjoy fine dining, however I always try to sample street food when I visit a new place, I find street food to be some of the best food that there is, especially in Italy and other countries throughout Europe
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 8:22 pm
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Talking When the street food's not 'street'

Originally Posted by jaykay6
Don't get me wrong I really enjoy fine dining, however I always try to sample street food when I visit a new place, I find street food to be some of the best food that there is, especially in Italy and other countries throughout Europe
So what's your opinion on 'the level just below fine dining'?

I ask because I hear or read about restaurants at hotels in Asia orienting some menus to offer street food in an almost fine dining setting.
Singapore will do as an example for now... but I've experienced this in KL, too.

Personally I enjoy the hotel and possibly its restaurant for what it can offer - but prefer to keep my street food dining where the locals eat.

(Where I think they do, anyway... not sure if Gluttons Bay is really eat... they mostly seemed to be drinking at the local pub - a Euro pub full of Singaporeans, after work... real local dining without street food )
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 8:33 pm
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I just want to add that the best meal of the week or month may well be 'fun dining' in the sense it is special for its location or company, than for the silver service and linen.

For example, lunching with my mate (here from FL) as a guest aboard his cruise ship, at Circular Quay.

A unique perspective to view the harbour, ferries, Opera House and skyline, tended on by excellent crew, hanging out with my friend and enjoying a steak and a Grolsch.

How many times will I have that kind of experience?
It's not the cruise line's fine dining room or theme restaurants, but out on the deck, with a grand total of three other patrons on deck.

Pretty unusual. Pretty memorable. Great company, good food, terrific beer, miserable weather, excellent location.

So fine.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 6:54 am
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Fine drinking? No, wait. That comes before, during and after ... not below.

Last edited by BamaVol; Feb 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Peterpack
If Fine Dining is the top of the food chain and McDonalds/street food is the bottom of the food chain, is there a term for restaurants just below Fine Dining but above buffets/cafes/regular restaurants ?
My gradations of U.S. Dining:
1. Michelin-star dining, usually found in ritzy neighborhoods in large cities (NY, SF, Beverly Hills, Vegas) and usually denoted by the chef's name on or closely associated with the restaurant.
2. Chain fine dining, e.g. Chart House, Palm, Ruth's Chris.
3. Chain dining, e.g. Claim Jumper, Black Angus, P.F. Chang
4. Chain suburban, e.g. Outback, Lone Star, Red Lobster
5. Japanese teppan
6. Good Asian buffets; local Italian; local NY/NJ fancy diners
7. Average buffets, e.g. local Asian, Home Town
8. Coffee shop, e.g. Denny's/IHOP; Boston Market
9. Fast food

Notes: Categories 1-5 have liquor licenses, 6 have beer/wine.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by mbstone
My gradations of U.S. Dining:
1. Michelin-star dining, usually found in ritzy neighborhoods in large cities (NY, SF, Beverly Hills, Vegas) and usually denoted by the chef's name on or closely associated with the restaurant.
2. Chain fine dining, e.g. Chart House, Palm, Ruth's Chris.
3. Chain dining, e.g. Claim Jumper, Black Angus, P.F. Chang
4. Chain suburban, e.g. Outback, Lone Star, Red Lobster
5. Japanese teppan
6. Good Asian buffets; local Italian; local NY/NJ fancy diners
7. Average buffets, e.g. local Asian, Home Town
8. Coffee shop, e.g. Denny's/IHOP; Boston Market
9. Fast food

Notes: Categories 1-5 have liquor licenses, 6 have beer/wine.
You're missing a category that would be either equal to, just below, or just above #2--non-Michelin-star local (non-chain, or at least regional chain) nice restaurants, for lack of a better term ("nice dining"? ).

AFAIK, there are no Michelin star restaurants in ANC (unless someone's been holding out in their advertising--the only one I would suspect would even be listed in the Guide would be the Crow's Nest). But I'd pit Simon and Seafort's, Orso, Glacier Brewhouse, Jens', the Double Musky, Kincaid Grill, or Southside Bistro against any chain restaurant any day. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with enough of these kinds of restaurants outside of ANC to give you a sample elsewhere (maybe the well-known McCormick and Schmick's in SEA, though I've never been there), but there's no place in your scale for them. Where would you put them?
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by mbstone
My gradations of U.S. Dining:
1. Michelin-star dining, usually found in ritzy neighborhoods in large cities (NY, SF, Beverly Hills, Vegas) and usually denoted by the chef's name on or closely associated with the restaurant.
2. Chain fine dining, e.g. Chart House, Palm, Ruth's Chris.
3. Chain dining, e.g. Claim Jumper, Black Angus, P.F. Chang
4. Chain suburban, e.g. Outback, Lone Star, Red Lobster
5. Japanese teppan
6. Good Asian buffets; local Italian; local NY/NJ fancy diners
7. Average buffets, e.g. local Asian, Home Town
8. Coffee shop, e.g. Denny's/IHOP; Boston Market
9. Fast food

Notes: Categories 1-5 have liquor licenses, 6 have beer/wine.
I suppose this all depends where you are. SF and the Bay Area's "fine dining" isn't necessarily in a "ritzy neighborhood." There are a large number of not-Michelin-Star but not far below (i.e., regularly in the Top 100 Bay Area restaurants) that don't have a full liquor license - it isn't worth the expense, and they are all about the wine. I don't even think Chez Panisse has a full liquor license. We also have a large number of below-"fine dining" but better than every category you have except #1 in my area. We also don't have many chains, gracias a dioses. We also have a fair number of breakfast/lunch spots that have food that would blow out the quality of everything below your #2.

Of course, if I drive 20 miles east, I would be in an area that fits into your model. Fortunately, my car breaks out in a rash and turns around on its own if I try and go that far

So, for me, just below "fine dining" is one of the myraid of small "nice-casual" places with excellent and creative food, a good wine list, great service, and no attitude or ego, where you can feel comfortable in nice jeans and a sweater, or a suit.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by BiziBB
So what's your opinion on 'the level just below fine dining'? )
Well there are many different interpretations of fine dining, I eat out maybe three nights a week at restaurants that would be considered by many to be fine dining restaurants, I on the other hand feel that given so many levels of what is considered to be fine dining it is hard to determine just what exactly comes just below it. If that makes sense, I live in Detroit and IMHO we have nothing that could be considered fine dining at the highest level, nor do I enjoy a stuffy restaurant that takes 3-4 hours to eat, with that said most of the places I eat most here in Detroit the manager or Owner knows me, I have a waiter that I can talk to in a way that most dining would not, like (how was the bar last night, and more in depth than that) so I always have fun when going out here because I have a different experience than what most consider to be fine dining, but I only go to these places because the quality of the food is amazing, always fresh and consistently great.

To me I would consider dining at a casual place that I stumble upon that offers great food to be just below fine dining.

Last edited by jaykay6; Feb 15, 2009 at 9:21 pm
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