Our favourite Italian place in the neighbourhood has some unique decor.
On its wooden walls runs a ledge that carries colourful recipe books of all varieties. One displays a tomato soup, garnished with cream and wisps of steam. Another carries a photogenic Penne Arrabiata with brinjal, bathed in red sauce. There are also a couple of vegetarian ones, which I flip thorough while waiting for my food.
On the surface, they add to the restaurant’s aesthetics. Naturally, these books put their most appealing dish on the cover. More implicitly, the decoration stimulates appetite. It signals that the restaurant is run by connoisseurs. It primes guests for its food to taste better. After all, the tongue can but give us combinations of five basic tastes. The rest is the territory of the mind.
Decorating restaurants with recipe books is a brilliant idea. Rather than restrict itself to the taste of its guests, the restaurant reaches out to their imagination.