Gastronomic Restaurant. Some Lofty Thoughts
A gastronomic restaurant must satisfy human striving for the sublime. This unwritten rule is a kind of a commandment for such places. But does a restaurateur fully understand the responsibility taken with this appealing adjective?
During Soviet times, someone heard French words gastronomie, gastronome, gastronomique behind the Iron Curtain. The relation to food was obvious because that someone had enjoyed roast goose and was suffering gastritis. So the decision was made to rename all grocery stores with that fancy word. First, that novelty affected only stores offering colonial products, and then — all shops with sausages and canned products. For example, Yeliseyev's Store and Wine Cellar of Russian and Imported Wines was renamed into Gastronomic Shop No. 1. The word ran aground. It was hacked carelessly and finally turned to prefix for everything related to food: gastrorestaurant, gastrobar, gastropub etc.
Joseph Berchoux, who was the first to use the word 'gastronomie' in the name of his poem, laid the groundwork for numerous shop signs, books and associations of connoisseurs. Now the art and science of delicate eating is called gastronomy. This art is refined and incorporates only the most seldom and delicate meals and tastes. It is destined only for speculations and not for expensiveness. As soon as human beings left their cave and put underwear on, they started requiring such 'art' from others. Any art is surrounded by cults.
A cult is primitive and leads to trickery. This is a kind of pathological freak of nature, whose mother is the Desire to Be and father — the Reluctance to Act. A gastronomic restaurant is like a wave, sucking omnivorous masses attracted by bizarre features down and then dashing to death against rocks of meaning, since loaves of bread served are bought in a common supermarket. A waiter usually asks politely but in the natural minor scale something like 'Would you like this crap?'
You questions 'What is artistic about your soup?', 'Does your Moldovan wine reflects unique features of the region?' or 'Why are you so silent?' are left without answers. A chef of such restaurant comes to fried eggs by the grace of God, then gets deflowered and finally ends up with something gastronomic in a single day.
Such restaurant is easy to recognise: gold-plated tables, polished forks, a violin tortured in a far corner and lackeys dressed like waiters. The air gets heavy rather quickly, a stomach rumbling and growling is heard from behind.