Eating With Your Eyes At Oak: It's Way Safer Than Internet Dating

Categories: Food News

Oak Crudo 2.jpg
Lori Bandi
Hamachi crudo
Ever think about food photography and Internet dating in tandem? Come on, don't be shy. You know you've logged on to OkCupid, or Match, or eHarmony or whatever, and looked at pictures of prospective dates and thought, oh my, I've gotta have that. Same thing happens when you're checking out a restaurant review, or one of those sexy slide shows Nick is always pulling together. You look at all of these stunning photographs and think, my, that looks good.

And then you go to the cafe, bar or restaurant to meet the object of your desire, and as soon as you lay your eyes on that for which you have lusted so long, the wind slips from your balloon in a crass reverberating sigh that leaves you with only one possible compliment. Wow. That was some good photography.

After I've completed my dining at a restaurant I'm reviewing, I let our photographer know where to go, and what I'd like shot, and nine times out of 10it's hard to recognize the plates that come back. Dishes are wiped a bit cleaner, steaks are a little thicker, and embellishments are stacked higher, presumably because the chef or owner knows that many prospective customers will choose a plate, or even a restaurant, just because of the visual appeal of that photo. It's a bit like cropping that sixth finger or a beer gut out of a picture before adding it to your dating profile.

When I walked into my office and saw the printed proof for Oak, the subject of this week's review, I was thrilled. It was exactly the plate that was served to me, save an edible flower of two in various colors. All the photos that came back from this review match what I encountered when eating my way through the menu. For once, what's being advertised is exactly what you'll get. And these plates are more than good enough to take home to Mom.

Oak's a keeper.

Oak Octopus Pork.jpg
Lori Bandi
Braised octopus and pork cheeks

Oak Vol au vent 2.jpg
Lori Bandi
Vol au vent

Location Info


1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

*.....aaahhhhhh.....* I see. Point taken.

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

Serious question: Why not just take a photo of the food you are actually eating? That way, the folks that read your reviews would have some idea of what you ate *actually* looked like. Don't get me wrong, I understand that the Whopper I see in the commercial isn't the Whopper I'm going to get, (should I ever venture into Burger King) but you could attach those along with the P.R. photo's that the restaurant gets to pretty-up for those purposes. And really, if you don't take a cell-phone photo of your experiences these days, it's like it never really happened at all, anyway.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

 Small, colorful blossoms that taste peppery and floral. And yes. The lighting in your office may be just enough. Wilonsky would approve.

Nick R.
Nick R.

What are the edible flowers? And can we keep them in pots around the office?

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