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August 26, 2008

Restaurants with an "interesting plainness"

DeepThought.jpgI came across this quote on the window of a store in Evanston, Ill. called Design Within Reach. First of all, I thought it was a funny place to hang that incredibly elaborate Swarovski crystal chandelier, and then I thought it was funny to be selling a chandelier that cost $2,600 in a store called Design Within Reach.

But I like the quote a lot. We had an earlier discussion about whether Fin in Fells Point could be worth eating at when the menu was so plain. Mies van der Rohe's words argue "yes" much more eloquently than I did. I think they also explain the value of restaurants like the Black Olive, and I'm sure you can think of others.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:40 AM | | Comments (6)


A shorter and even more elegant quote from Mies: "less is more".

Design Within Reach is a chain store with all the classic, elegant modern furniture. You are correct, much of it is not within reach.

"within reach" isn't about affordability; it means that one can buy it without having to go through a decorator--which used to be the case with this kind of furniture.

That's funny. I totally misinterpreted it because it's a college town. EL

I would think that most people's interpretation of "within reach" would be a financial. I don't think that the man on the street would be thinking of access through a decorator. Not many people have that mindset.

Design Within Reach is out of reach of most people, which is too bad. They've got some fun stuff.

I love Design Within Reach, even though pretty much everything they sell is out of my own personal reach.

I always thought that the name referenced the philosophy of the early/mid-century designers that DWR represents - as a school, they believed that most people should be able to avoid good design.

Of course, now, even reproductions of their stuff is so expensive. Thank God for Target and Ikea...otherwise my house would be empty.

I hope you mean afford. :-) EL

My favorite Mies quote: "God dwells in the details."

Which brings me back to the redesign of the paper. . . .

We followed Elizabeth's suggestion and four of us had a a terrific experience at Tapabar on Halloween . The tapas were excellent and we enjoyed watching the costumed passersby from our seats in the atrium right on Eastern Ave. It wasn't very busy. Prices are reasonable and service pleasant !

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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