What’s more important: service & ambience or food?

While I was sitting in a lovely restaurant in Spain I was thinking about the most important thing that makes eating in a restaurant a great experience. Is it really the food? I ate in a restaurant last Monday that hadn’t served great food. But I felt so welcomed: The prices were moderate, the waiter was just phenomenal and the dining room was nicely decorated. In contrast, I’ve dined in so many restaurants that served great food but they were either overprized or the service was just horrible (sometimes even both applied). If I have to decide between a great ambience and great food… well I would most of the time go for the ambience.

Comments (6)
  1. Anonymous says:

    I had a meal an a pokey little italian place in Sydney, it was late near closing, it looked inside more like an english cafe (closer to greasey spoon than coffe bar) with plastic table cloths and pictures on the menu.

    But it was just me and the wife in the place and the food was freshly home-cooked italian that tasted phenoninal. Becuase of the daft exchange rates for aussie money (I was laughing) the complete meal including tip was only about five quid (2 pints of beer in UK or just under).

    I rank this is one of the best meals I’ve ever had, the food was brilliant and the price laughable, the service cant say it was great either even though there was only two of us in the place and ambience with plastic tablecloths dont think so.

    I never felt pressured though, which in many places that I end up hating I have done. Some good 4 star places have hovered about in an effort to gee you along. That is what I think can kill a meal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think Joel got it right: it does not matter if somethings really good, it matters if something is so bad you wont come back:


  3. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree. I had so many disappointing dinners in top rated restaurants. Either the food wasn’t up to my expectations or it was far too expensive. In many cases the service personal was slightly arrogant. But in contrast, the ambience of a cozy family-run restaurant compensated in many cases for the missing *s.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I concur. The people you are with may have the same influence btw. Even a crappy place with bad food can still end in a memorable evening if you’re there with good folks.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Reto: In this case, nothing can go wrong the next week… 😉

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