I have long made fun of my father for watching plates travel to other tables as part of his decision-making process at a restaurant. He'll stare for far too long, waiting to see what someone's reaction is to the first bite of a dish -- and the second and the third. But even as I gently admonish him for joining another table, I'm also asking him for his take, wanting to know exactly what he sees. Because I've experienced what's it like to see a dish being brought to an adjacent table and wish that it were coming to mine.
We're in a golden age of food photography, wherein the technology possessed by the average person means that even I can take beautiful food shots on occasion. We eat with our eyes (tell me this shot from Lauren Fairweather doesn't make you want a plate of Blanc's fries) but have yet to figure out how to use our newfound photographic prowess to help us make decisions at restaurants. Is there any way to get classy photos on printed menus (I hear there is this thing called an iPad being used in some restaurants), something that doesn't look like the sign board at a sub shop?