On Friday night, Firefly restaurant hosted a night of “Dinner without Devices.”
It was an evening of divine dinner sans Blackberries, IPhones, IPads and the like. It was a seemingly simple task, which involved placing our phones in the designated basket on the table, encouraging people to unwind and “disconnect” from instant messaging, Facebook updates and texting while reconnecting with your dinner date.
As I mentioned before, when I first told my Husband about this evening, his first response was a rather lukewarm reaction. Something involving the words “Not” and “Giving” and “Phone” to which I instantly proceeded to launch a full-scale counter-campaign trying to convince him it was a fantastic idea and an easy concept to invoke.
Surprisingly, it turns out my Husband wasn’t the only one with this kind of reaction, and of the many reservations the restaurant handled that evening, most people didn’t opt-in to the Bread-basket meets Mr. Phone plan. Which is a shame, considering our experience from giving it a whirl was pretty eye-opening. Although, I have a feeling that most people didn’t understand the full context of the plan. Yes, we turned over our phones but that only consisted of placing them in the basket. The basket o’ phones never actually left the table, and no one really monitored your usage. Ultimately, the idea was to encourage a “conscious awareness” that was supposed to be brought about by the actual gesture of removing the phone from your person.
In a sheer twist of irony, once we got to the restaurant, my Husband was all too ready to hand off his phone. While initially, I handed mine over with a grandiose flourish, it was only seconds before my hand crept back to the basket. After that, my hand took off on it’s own accord in predictable 4 minute increments. Finally, my Husband headed off my next phone pass by reaching in and shutting down my Crackberry entirely, with a look that clearly read “if you touch that phone again, you’ll be spending the night texting your girlfriends from the couch.”
In that one annoyingly confident gesture, he managed to switch my attention back to us, our conversation and ultimately, the incredible food being delivered to our table. Suddenly, I wanted to jump up and encourage everyone to follow suit, to give the concept an old-college try and see if they would end up with the same freedom I’d been given. It was an excellent feeling that allowed me to focus on doing what I do best, eating (hey, I’m Italian, we like our food) and mingling with everyone in ear shot. Starting with our awesome server, Landon, then our neighboring tables and eventually Firefly’s owner, David Trepanier.
If all that “connecting” was actually a result of disconnecting from my phone, or from the genuinely friendly atmosphere at the restaurant, I can’t say really say but one things for certain, the meals are exquisite enough to demand your full attention and I was all too happy to give in to the moment.
Firefly is delightfully deceiving in its casual elegance. At first, I was caught off guard by its mini-mall location, but once inside you’re immediately engulfed in a sumptuous blend of taste and design capable of rivaling even the most urban fine-dining.
I’m not sure if Firefly will be hosting another event like “Dinner without Devices” but if they do, give it a whirl. If they don’t, then keep your phone and go anyway. The restaurant offers numerous specials through out the week, which is wonderful news for locals who crave a nice night out without having to pay season prices.
Image Credit | Edgewater Beach Resort