A musical tone.

By Carmen Schmidt |

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This week on Check, Please! our guest reviewers discuss upscale sushi at Coast Sushi Bar, gourmet pizza and music at Union Pizzeria, and spicy curries to awaken your senses at Marigold. A unique mix as always.
Shows like this one are fun to produce not only because of the variety of delectable dishes on the menu, but because of the mood-setting music. Yes, I said music! As you probably know if you dine out a lot, key to the experience are not only the smells and tastes but the sights and sounds. And have you noticed when watching the show each week that we overlay unique music for each individual restaurant? This music sets the tone for our segment and for each of the restaurants. For example: a sultry, jazz instrumental is perfect for a dimly lit, romantic, upscale restaurant. The sultry tones set the pace for the images you will see and help to describe the mood you can expect when visit. For a classic “blue-plate special” diner, we may select the upbeat tempos of soda-pop music to illustrate the fast-pace service and throw-back ambiance. Listen carefully when you watch this week’s episode and you’ll be sure to hear these subtle musical, mood-setting suggestions. During the Coast Sushi segment, listen for the flute…reminiscent, we hope, of a stroll through a Japanese garden and referencing delicately prepared and artfully colorful sushi plates on the menu. While the distant twang of the sitar, chosen for Marigold, creates the sense of an exotic Indian marketplace. A sound that pairs well with the spicy menu and traditional Indian dishes you can expect to enjoy there.
Live music provides the ultimate real-life experience of a restaurant’s atmosphere. Many of the restaurants featured on Check, Please! offer live music performances to pair with your food. And we always try to catch some of this musical ambiance when we visit and shoot the restaurants after our guest reviewers have done their thing. Union Pizzeria is a great example of this. At Union, there is a separate section in the restaurant for musical performance that they call “The Space.” Live performances of blues, jazz, and more take place regularly at The Space. (Check their website for a schedule.) You can order a gourmet pizza and enjoy a live band, the perfect pairing of sensory experiences. If you listen carefully when you watch the segment of the show featuring Union Pizzeria this week, you may hear the audio switch from a lively, blues selection from our library to the live blues music enjoyed by the diners the night of our shoot. Hearing what The Space actually sounds and feels like when you’re there is our goal as producers.
Now, it’s your turn. Do you have a favorite restaurant that serves up great music as well as a great meal? Tell us all about it!
Carmen M. Schmidt
Associate Producer, Check, Please!
WTTW

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