"Eight ounces of steak? An amuse bouche in my eyes."

20080306-scale.jpgUntil very recently I was obsessed with the bigger-is-better school of eating. I would always look for what I thought would be the biggest appetizer, the biggest main course, and the biggest dessert. Half a rack of ribs? Not enough. A four-ounce burger? Child's play--or at the very least a child's portion. Half portions of pasta were for wusses. Eight ounces of steak? An amuse bouche in my eyes.

Now that I'm trying to change the way I eat and live, I'm really trying to cut down on my portion size. It's easier to do this at home, and much more difficult to do so at restaurants, where many chefs and restaurateurs want to impress you with quantity instead of quality because they want to be seen as generously spirited and magnanimous. There are a few chefs, however, who are taking a gutsy approach to portion size.

I've had a couple of meals at Blue Hill at Stone Barns recently (much more on that next week), where Dan Barber is determined to dazzle us with quality instead of quantity. Barber serves anywhere from five to seven small courses on his tasting menu, and, yet, after each meal I felt excited and sated instead of bloated and semi-comatose.

I wish more chefs and restaurateurs would be willing to try this approach to cooking for their customers. Serious eaters would undoubtedly end up doubling their pleasure without feeling cheated or deprived. I have no idea how this kind of thinking is going to affect my weigh-in now, but if I keep this notion in mind as I try to figure out how to control my weight for good, I'll be a lot better off.

All right, I'm down another pound. Nine all together. One small step for smaller portions and smallkind.

Thoughts, serious eaters?


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