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Chicago Magazine

What’s in a Name? That Which We Call a Restaurant?

Shakespeare and restaurants? Wherefore art thou going for dinner Romeo?

Usually when we consider Shakespeare and dining, we think of going to the corner pub for a pint of bitter hard cider, or Falstaffian feasts, as in, “To finish a dish at Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon, you must have a Falstaffian appetite.”

I’m no expert on Othello’s diet or Hamlet’s favorite foods, though that would be a fascinating research project to embark on.

However, yesterday’s unveiling of Chicago Magazine‘s annual list of the city’s best new restaurants caused me to think of a particularly famous Shakespearean quote.

Since I haven’t tried any of these restaurants in Chicago, I can’t use any Shakespearean references to exude my slings and arrows of disappointment, or my jocund jubilance over the list.

Beach House Restaurant in Poipu, Kauai. A very simple name.

Beach House Restaurant in Poipu, Kauai. A very simple name.

What I noticed was the creative and often downright strange names of the restaurants on the list. As Juliet once queried Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any name would smell as sweet.” There are no Capulets vs Montagues- sized rivalries or controversies with this list. In this case, the roses are restaurants. (more…)