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Food served on slate


Simon_S
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One of my very favourite restaurants (and genuinely one of the finest restaurants in the land) serves a lot of its dishes on flat black slate, or on black plates that have a similar surface. The food is at the creative end of the spectrum and it's always beautifully plated, but for me the slate takes away from the experience. It's partly a question of presentation -- this is colourful food, and I think colours often look better on white -- but more importantly, I hate the feeling of cutlery on slate. Trying to scrape that last scrap of delicious sauce from the surface is an uncomfortable and noisy experience.

I know it's not exactly rare to see food served this way, but what's the attraction to chefs? Do other diners like it, am I just an outlier?

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A few years back, there was a too-chic hotel in London (so chic there was no name on the outside so you drove round & round trying to find it, so chic the registration card was white on white print, so there was no telling what it said, so chic the room doors had no visible means of entry...)

And they were probably the first to go slate. The servers literally could not pick the slate back up from the table, they had to do this awkward slip and slide movement to get the plate off the table.

We laughed the whole time we were there....until we got the bill.

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Haven't had much food served on slates - but the scraping of a fork across the slate makes my skin literally crawl. Nice presentation, but fingernails-on-a-chalkboard is not a pleasant way to end a meal.

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It's probably a LOT cheaper to buy and replace. A lot of people might not know this (or maybe a lot do) but nice, hell, even decent, restaurant plates, bowls and cups are EXPENSIVE. Some of them run like, 20-30 dollars per plate.

I'm not saying your local Chili's uses this, but a run of the mill "fine dining" plate probably runs at least 30 bucks. Bowls, different shapes, sizes, etc all cost a lot of money.

What does a slab of slate cost? 5 bucks? Break one, it's not that big of a deal. Just run down to the Home Depot, lol.

I worked at a place that served a salumi plate of slate...it looked nice and actually held the cold temp longer than I think a plate would. I think we did some sort of tartar on it too. Maybe it wasn't slate though, it may have been some sort of other faux something or other. But it looked cool.

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Slate is not very porous, but it is more absorbent than ceramics. I don’t know if it can accumulate food odor from a previous dish, like fish.

How do restaurants wash a heavy slate plate? Slate can also flake, being a relatively soft stone.

dcarch

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I've seen this done with a cheese plate.

Don't mind it so much for that sort of course, really it's just something to stop the waiter from having to carry five lumps of cheese in his bare hands, but for a main or starter where you are eating with cutlery it's pretty horrendous.

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Yes I agree about the cheese, it doesn't bother me quite so much there. But anything with a sauce...

I certainly get the cost consideration, but the question of washing is a good one and had never really crossed my mind. Interesting.

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Like jsmeeker, I mostly see this used for cheese plates, and it doesn't bother me there. Anything with any sort of real moisture to it, it would bother me, much as I am somewhat bothered by wood planks as a serving plate.

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