Restaurants

Is this the most obnoxious restaurant in the world?

Oct. 18, 2011 at 10:17 AM ET

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New York Times writer and former restaurant critic Frank Bruni writes about a recently opened New York restaurant that might just be the most obnoxious eatery he’s ever encountered.

“Feel free to smell them,” a server at Chelsea restaurant Romera told Bruni. “And to taste them. Make a memory of them.”

The server wasn’t talking about wines or the food, but was in fact instructing Bruni to smell “lukewarm flavored water” that was served as a pairing for each dish of a $245, 11-course meal.

“It’s not just that this restaurant, which serves a single tasting menu for $245 a person before drinks or tip, seems wildly out of sync with the economic times,” Bruni writes. “Romera demands notice mostly because it’s such a florid demonstration of just how much culinary vanity we’ve encouraged and pretension we’ve unleashed.”

The concept of the restaurant is to connect each bite and sip to a memory – what the restaurateur, a former neurologist, calls “neurogastronomy.” Bruni regards this overthought experience as a nadir in the trend of the obnoxious foodie – from the prevalence of food TV and personalities to our penchant for taking photos of our food. “Even the meatballs have paparazzi,” he writes.

We want to know, what’s the most pretentious behavior you’ve seen at a restaurant, whether it’s the concept, service or other customers?  

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