Like children staring up at Rainforest Cafe’s artificial night sky (or shaking from the booms and quakes of its fake thunderstorms), Alinea’s customers are served an illusion. They are led to believe that a food’s trappings are valuable even when divorced from satisfying flavors, from nature, or from nostalgia. They are tricked into thinking that a restaurant which denies dining’s transcendent, human dimension has any value as a conjurer of culinary gibberish. They are, ultimately, suckers who are being sold a future where a restaurant’s quality grows with how “Instagrammable” the experience is.
RPM Steak caters to the 99% of customers who did not make a Bavette’s reservation a month in advance of their special dinner. The restaurant caters to the 99% of customers who are impressed with hulking cuts of meat from unknown ranches–customers who take a bite, find they can chew through it, and think: “fair enough!”