04 December 2007

Service? More Like Recitation

I had the pleasure of dining at two wonderful restaurants this weekend, one in DC and the other in NoVA. Great food, fine atmosphere, lots of good wines by the glass in both places. I won't tell you the names of these places as from here on down this is more a peeve about the current trend in service than a glowing report.

At both restaurants I felt like I was held captive by the waitstaff while they showed off what they knew.

At restaurant A:

Me: I have a question.
Waitress: Absolutely. Let me tell you all about our menu and if you have any questions about wine, I can tell you about that, too. In fact, let me point out a few things to you as you turn to page 12, here, of the drink list, you can see we've spared no expense to bring you some fantastic choices. We have more than 150 wines by the bottle and more than 60 wines by the glass. Oh, and blahblahblahblahBLAH.

Wait a minute. Did you not hear me say I had a question? Are you not the least bit interested in my question? Do you really think I want to hear a soliloquy before I ask my question?

At restaurant B:

Waiter: Do you know what you'd like?
Me: I do!
Waiter: Let me make a few suggestions that you may not have considered. At Restaurant Blahdeeblah we're proud to say we do things a little differently. We're delighted to offer a variety of specialty drinks that you've never heard of. My favorite is the Tommy Lasorda. It's got just the right level of insouciance and a surprising touch of filbert liqueur. Now if you were instead thinking about wine, of course we have umpteen different wines by the glass that I am very familiar with and they start here and go all the way to here sorted by blahblahblahblahBLAH.

Wait a minute. You asked me if I knew what I'd like and I said I do! What the HELL are you going on about? Let me tell you what I want and--here's a thought-- you shut up and go get it!

Why do I feel like I'm watching a performance, and a fairly lackluster one at that? Okay, so you had to memorize a lot to get this job. I get it. Doesn't mean I want to hear everything you know.

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