So, I mentioned yersterday that I’d be having dinner at a nice — sorry, that’s ‘Nice‘ — restaurant. And I did. And found, in the process, that these places aren’t as ‘Nice‘ as they’d have you believe. Or possibly, I found that they can spot ‘not-one-of-us’ from a mile away, and they just like to give us shit. Either way, here’s what heppened:
Eight of us met at the restaurant. Actually, most of us met at one of our houses first, to have a couple of pre-dinner drinks. Because, as we all know, a cold beer fresh out of someone’s fridge tastes much better than a twelve-dollar glass of merlot. And three or four of those cold beers? Priceless.
Anyway, we got there, and made it through the drinks, salad, and dinner without incident. The waiter was a tad snooty, but nothing overt. A disapproving shake here, a quick ‘tsk‘ there — that sort of thing. No worse than I get from the family when I go home for Christman. Then, it was time for dessert.
Now, I’m not much of a desserter, myself. I saw the writing on the wall a long time ago — or is that ‘the sugar on the cone’? — and realized that I could either keep eating sweets or keep drinking beer, but not both. Not unless I wanted the fire department coming by to winch me out of the tub every time I took a bath, at least. And I never had that much of a sweet tooth to begin with, so desserts are pretty much off my menu. I’ll make exceptions for a nice Snackwell cookie, or some low-fat ice cream, or… well, anything that’s boring and tasteless enough to not really be ‘dessert’ any longer. You get the idea.
So, when the dessert menus come a-calling, I usually go one of three routes: I abstain, I have another beer or glass of wine, or — in recent years, as this New England poshness grows on me — I’ll try a dessert wine of some sort. Last night, the place was swimming in ports and brandies and the like, so that’s where I headed. Two of the guys along on the trip had the same idea.
It was around that time that I remembered something I’d seen on the pre-dinner wine list:
‘We also offer port flights. Ask your server for more details.‘
For those of you unfamiliar with flights, it’s just a ‘sampler’. Or a set of ‘tasters’, if you like. Essentially, they’ll bring you tiny thimblefuls of different kinds of wines — or rums, or tequilas, or hot mustards, depending on what sort of high-faluting place you happen to be in. So, assuming you can manage to splash a little on your taste buds before the samples evaporate, you get to try a few different varieties at once, rather than shelling out fourteen bucks a pop and finding that you don’t particularly like mustard made from buttermilk and duck guano. In theory, it works out well — particularly if you’re not terribly familiar with what you’re trying. Like us guys at the table, with port. So this flight thingy described on the menu seemed like a capital idea.
(You have to say shit like ‘capital idea’, if you’re going to drink port, you know. Pip-pip and all of that. They won’t serve you unless you seem pompous enough to appreciate the stuff.)
So, we took the instructions on the menu to heart, and asked our ‘server’ for ‘more details’. Here’s how that went:
Us: So, what can you tell us about the port flights?
Semi-Snooty Server: Port flights?
Us: Yes, the port flights, mentioned on the menu.
Semi-Snooty Server: I’m afraid you may be mistaken. I don’t know of any port flights.
Round one to the waiter. Did we really see it on the menu, or were we a bunch of drunken, hallucinating idiots, stuffed into nice clothes and trying to pass ourselves off as classy gents and broads? Well, I was leading the charge, so the answer was pretty obvious. Like I said, Waiter 1, Drunken Idiots 0.
Us: You know, we’re pretty sure we saw it. It wasn’t very specific, but it was there, we think.
Semi-Snooty Server: Well, I’ve been working here quite a while…
Us: Yes, and we’re all very proud of you. Could we just see the menu again, please?
That tied the score. Waiter-man led with haught, and we didn’t fold. We even had him scrambling to find the alleged evidence. Waiter 1, Drunken Idiots 1.
Semi-Snooty Server: Well, here’s the menu, but I don’t —
Us: See? Right there. ‘Port flights‘. ‘Ask your server‘. ‘More details‘. It’s all there in fancy script.
Advantage, us. Seems Sir Snootykins didn’t know everything about the menu, after all. Waiter 1, Drunken Idiots 2. Your move, garcon.
Semi-Snooty Server: Well… we don’t have those. Sorry.
Ouch. Well played, sir. Even in the face of irrefutable evidence, the stiff upper lip and icy stare never wavered. Doesn’t matter what the menu says — your server says it doesn’t exist. Push me again, and I’ll pretend we’ve never heard of chocolate mousse, too. Don’t fuck with the waiter, boys. Game, set, and match to the serving staff. Bitches.
Of course, it all worked out. We each had a different glass of port, passed them around with our grubby drunken fingers, and tasted them all, anyway. And then we had a good laugh about how ‘ask your server for more details‘ really means ‘look like an ass asking for ridiculous shit you’re never actually going to get‘.
Restaurant Patron: Excuse me, the menu says to ask you for more details on the free glass of champagne with every appetizer.
Server: I’m sorry; the ‘more details‘ is that it doesn’t exist.
Restaurant Patron: Oh. Well, how about this ‘caviar and thousand dollar bill salad‘?
Server: No. You’re not getting that.
Restaurant Patron: I see. What can you tell me about the ‘blowjob with hollandaise sauce‘ listed here, then?
Server: Sir, just eat your gruel and slink away from my table. Don’t make me sneer at you again.
So, we drank our port, mocked the restaurant, and stiffed the waiter on the tip. Now that’s a night on the town, people. Let’s eat!Permalink | 3 Comments