Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sabur, Somerville: it's all a blur

This week I had a complaint (a complaint, I tells ya!) that I hadn't posted any pictures of food in more than a week.

My excuse? I keep eating in dark places.

I'm not a professional photographer (as you may have noticed), and even though I try to take photos of as many dishes as possible, it's hard to get good shots in restaurants with ambiances that are romantic, moody or just cheap and underlit.

Take last night, for example, when we braved the 85-degree humidity to go to
Sabur, the Mediterranean restaurant halfway between Davis and Teele Squares in Somerville.

(How humid was it? So humid that we elected to sit in the air-conditioned interior instead of on the intimate outdoor patio. That humid.)

The decor at Sabur is simple and rustic: highbacked wooden chairs, an open brick grill, beaten copper tables. The lighting, while pretty, is similarly low-key:

Which means I had two choices, snapshot-wise. I could sit the camera on the table, which produced shots like this:

(Doesn't that tomato-cucumber-feta salad look lovely?)

Or I could hold the camera and balance my elbows on the table, which produced shots with a less-than-appetizing blur. This photo does nothing for the grilled Balkan sausages, which are tender and juicy and spicy:

Likewise, Sabur does zucchini and feta fritters that have a light crunch on the outside and a soft, yielding center. They're sitting in
ajvar, a roasted red pepper and eggplant spread that's both fresh and complex. But you wouldn't know it from this shaky shot:

The round pastry in back is
burek, which is close enough to a Cornish pasty that it satisfies my occasional cravings.

I should point out that any shakiness is purely the result of the slightly irregular surface of the beaten copper table, and has nothing to do with this:

Mine was the one on the left, a cocktail of house-made fig-infused vodka and pomegranate that was both refreshingly light and earthily complex. The dark fruit lurking in the bottom of the glass is an entire vodka-soaked fig: a potent little bomb.

So I asks you: which would you prefer? Clear, well-lit images that appear only occasionally, or a regular cavalcade of blurry, dark, confusing shots?

'Cause let me tell you, I got plenty of those.

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Blogger Ben Brophy said...

I like the blurry photos better than no photos. Except those sausages. I couldn't handle the sausages.

8:56 PM  
Blogger LimeyG said...

Yeah, the photo doesn't do them justice. They look vaguely inappropriate.

10:20 AM  

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