Enter the Experience 

Addressing the ideal dining-out mindset.

"Someone who is trained has put this together with a specific reason, an end game in mind, so don't try to change it. Commit yourself to enjoying somebody else's work ... At least give it a try with an open mind before you judge whether you think you're going to love something. Try to actually experience what they're trying to throw at you. If you go to the VMFA, you don't ask, 'Will you put a different frame on it?'" — Carly Herring

"A lot of people don't realize that chefs are artists. What goes into making food taste good is an art — there are so many different layers, spaces and a lot of background work that a lot of people just don't see. Don't walk into a restaurant with one objective and that is just to eat. Enjoy an experience and try all the flavors you can. Don't feel held to order four entrees, or especially the whole table getting the same thing. Get two entrees and four appetizers — it comes out to the same price — that's part of the experience I wish people would grasp that, to taste and to share." — Kevin LaCivita

"Tequila — sometimes people want to stay as far away as possible. But like a good Scotch, there are such beautiful tequilas that have nice caramel hints and agave. It's the Mexican culture, and I wish people here would start to be more experienced with it. We serve tequila with a little lime and salt, raw ground coffee with a little orange for dipping, pineapple with ancho chili and a little sugar. A bite of each of the fruits brings beautiful hints of the tequila out, and it's a very nice experience." — Maria Oseguera

"A lot of diners are very set in their ways, and they aren't going to be coaxed into anything different, and that's how it is. But have an open mind. As you explore new places, I think it's really important to observe and learn what they have to offer and what the highlights are. If you let the staff do their thing you'll have a good experience." — Dylan Fultineer

Interviewed by Deveron Timberlake

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