Wine and Dine
For my photo essay, I chose an evening at a restaurant to depict art truly in its natural habitat. In previous stages of the project, I defined art as a free form of expression which is entirely subjective to each individual. People commonly go out for dinner and rarely ever see it as “art” per se. Working in a restaurant for two years, I have concluded that going out to dinner is not simply arriving, eating, and leaving; there are many factors that make up the experience. Art is seen on the smiles of happy customers, enjoying good company and delicious food.
My theme is culinary art, but my pictures depict more of a short story to detail a night at a restaurant. I developed this theme based on my background in the food industry; I have worked in both the back and front of the house over the past two years, recently working my way to bartender. If I were still a server, I probably wouldn’t have done my essay on a dining theme. But, since I have started bartending. I have seen the entire spectrum of the functioning machine we call a restaurant: from the customers to the employees and everything in between. When people are out to eat, it is an escape for many. A time to unwind from a long day/week and enjoy good food and drinks with family and friends. Seeing all this expression is one of the purest forms of art. That mixed with the food and ambience turns a simple night out into an amazing experience. For example, in my essay there is a picture of two people cheering with a shot and smiling. Another picture in my essay which helps fulfill my definition of art is a picture of a popular entrée. This is more of the black and white side of my art definition, the salad itself is culinary art and is visually pleasing.
Overall, I’d say this project has really affirmed my definition. Since I was a kid, I have always defined art as personal expression. Taking the time to photograph the experience one partakes in when they go out really helped me scrutinize all of the factors that make up art. There are many details within art which is the beautiful thing about it; there is art out there for everybody, as long as you just take the time to look.
Walking into the restaurant, emotions are high and anticipation builds.
After being seated, the average patron finds time to look around and absorb the environment while waiting for their server.
To start, people commonly try some delicious ouzo, a very popular greek aperitif.
Saganaki is a very popular and festive appetizer (flaming cheese), and is the perfect starter to any dinner.
Many people prefer to sit at the bar over a table, usually to have a nice drink.
This is a pomegranate martini, very elegant and perfect for the coming summer.
Two happy people cheering “Opa!” which is the Greek form of cheers.
Patrons usually inquire about our espresso machine while waiting for their dinner to arrive; it is the anchor in our bar.
An action shot of the delicious food being prepared, in particular this is a side of pasta.
This is a chicken Greek salad, one of our most popular choices.
With dinner, patrons commonly order a bottle of fine wine to complement their meals.
And, last but not least, customers finish off their evening with a decadent slice of chocolate cake!