Sunday, May 29, 2011

an unusual dining experience (lyn)

Carol and I meet for dinner at a newish trattoria nearby.  By the time I arrive, Carol is already seated inside.  It is stifling hot and Carol has been waiting 20 minutes for a frozen margarita.  Not a good sign.  There is sidewalk seating and we ask if we can eat outside when we notice a couple of vacated tables.  Our request is granted.

Our waiter, Stefan, is from Romania but grew up in Italy.  He’s reserved and adorable.  I ask about the fish specials.  “I only eat meat,” he responds.  I take my chances anyway and order branzino.  Carol gets a salad and salmon.  It’s 7:30 when we order.  We ask for water.  Fifteen minutes later, our water glasses are filled. 

At 8:15, my entrée arrives.  Not Carol’s.  “Would you like us to filet the fish?” asks Stefan.  “Definitely,” I respond.  Fifteen minutes pass before my boned fish is returned to the table, but at least Carol’s salmon is now ready too.  My branzino is served with a small salad and roasted potatoes and is excellent.

While we are finishing up dinner, a couple sits down next to us, with their dog, Mickey, a beautiful big white lab.  Mickey is treated as another diner at their table.  True, he is a gorgeous animal.  But really, is pizza even good for a dog?

Our waiter brings the bill, and Carol tells him how disappointed we are in the service.  She’s quick to add, “But it’s not your fault.  It’s the kitchen that is so slow.”  I’m only half paying attention as I am still fascinated by the food that Mickey is being fed from his table.  When he’s not eating, he’s keeping the table clean by licking it.  Then I hear Stefan say, “Well, it’s not just the kitchen.  I’m not a very good waiter.”  At first, I think he is joking, but he’s not smiling.  He adds, “I just started two days ago and I know I’m not very good.” His sincerity earns him a 20 percent tip.

I wonder if Mickey is having dessert?

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