Should Critics Care About a Restaurant's Matchbooks?

Restaurant buttons

Forget about the food how's the logo?Photo: Daniel Maurer

The new issue of Metropolis boasts some truly gorgeous shots of the kitchens of wd-50 (complete with skylight), Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Alinea, and Chez Panisse. But what really caught our attention was a polemic from graphic designer Steven Heller asking why restaurant critics generally overlook the graphic design of, for instance, a restaurants logo, sign, menu, and business card as was the case when Amanda Hesser reviewed Spice Market.

Somewhere she could have tipped her hat to graphic design and observed how the emblematic color palette is further echoed in the coarse brown fabric covering the hefty lunch/dinner menu while a similar orange fabric on the dessert menu contrasts nicely with the logos brown. The only problem with the orange is it retains dirt like cat hair on an old couch, which is less than appetizing. But since the waitstaff, in their orange pajamas (particularly the waitresses backless outfits), are so graphically color-coded that they add to the total immersionand certainly took my mind off the grimy dessert menu. Didnt Hesser see the soot?

Um, okaaaay. As matchbook collectors, we share Hellers appreciation for graphic design we even have a Cha Chas sticker and Grays Papaya button on our fridge but this might be taking it a bit far. Critics can only fit so much into a review; otherwise, theyd talk about stuff like, say, the restrooms

Missing Component [Metropolis Mag]
Necessary Ingredients [Metropolis Mag]