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861728

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  1. 861728

    Grimes Hates Waiters

    My fellow classmates think the restaurant has trained me for the analytic work. :) My thesis will come out of the restaurant world, not sure how yet.
  2. 861728

    Grimes Hates Waiters

    YVONNE - I write everything down - always have and always train others to do so. Why waiters try to memorize is beyond me. Why make your job harder and riskier. I don't feel like I am being untrue to myself and it's exceedingly rare that I am asked to align myself with anything truly untenable. Just as you don't want to tell a waiter to shut up I see no reason to counter the ebullience of a guest looking for affirmation. If what the guest wants is for me to wax poetic on California Cabs to confirm his choice then that's what I'll do, regardless of whether or not that would be my choice as a diner. My jab at Grimes was that he seemed to set the waiter up. 1st expressing the idea that he would be happy to hear all about the cuisine and then complaining about the content of the answer. It's the old adage reworked:"Ask a broad question, get a broad answer" Or, as the messenger said to Cleopatra "To punish me for what you make me do seems most unequal." God knows why restaurants have the litany of specials. As Shaw writes elsewhere, in the age of computers it's silly not to print everything up the day of. I am so pleased with the waiter at CRAFT! I love that story. Your actions communicated your enjoyment, no need for him to interject and say, "How is everything?"
  3. 861728

    Washing Your Sponges

    WAY WAY off topic but my favorite story is where a woman applied anti-bacterial solution to the blarney stone before kissing it ...
  4. 861728

    Grimes Hates Waiters

    It was the delicious extra value meal # 6! The three plums phrase would have to depend on the affect I suppose. But even if someone has picked 3 sensational bottles what's the point of "quizzing" if not to further refine the selection? Just last night I was able to taste 2 '82 Bordeaux. Both homeruns and worthy of their pedigree and price, both very different in mouthfeel, flavour and finish.
  5. 861728

    Grimes Hates Waiters

    PS the waiter who told Grimes he had shaken the tree and found three plums. ... It's obvious to me that this server didn't know his wines.
  6. 861728

    Grimes Hates Waiters

    As a server, and, coincidentally a graduate student of psychoanalysis, I have a few thoughts about this. Grimes makes the right point with the wrong analogy. Therapy, as 'twere, has as a core tenet the idea of "following the contact" which is to say the patient takes the lead and sets the tone for the session and the analyst works in service of the ego. The patient feels he has a twin. This is the ideal model for waiting tables. I simply follow the guests’ lead in service of the experience. You want an enthusiastic deep well of knowledge, I'll be that. You're on business and want a silent servant, I'll be that. You miss Clinton, so do I, you love W. so do I. To table X we bond over the continued superiority of a true Burgundy, to table Y we gloat over the much better upstart from Oregon. It is YOUR call on how I can be most valuable to you. (This seems to be lost on Grimes who takes such a passive victimized position) By letting each guest guide the experience I have cultivated a large corps of regulars who would all describe me in a different way. (The mirroring/twin factor)* So, in fact, what Grimes wants IS a therapeutic relationship with a server. Grimes is BEGGING to be taken care of and to be understood on his level without having to do any work himself in terms of the communication. What he describes is the other old-saw analogy of the actor as waiter. The unrequested barrage of information and affirmation does not take the guest into consideration. The waiter has had extensive training that he sees as rehearsal and is ready to give a performance. You are not a guest but an audience. This is what Grimes rightly objects to. Of course this spins another thread about dining out as theatre, which at certain levels it, is. *This went to the extreme one evening when I served a retired couple who adored the fact that I was a young person passionate about food and wine. The following day while eating my lunch at the 46th street Times Square McDonalds this same couple accosted me. They had seen me in the window and were incensed that I had lied to them about being a gourmet. It was very strange.
  7. Penut butter with mayonaise sandwiches. Something I got hooked on as a kid and it stands for my comfort food.
  8. 861728

    Craft

    CRAFT is right behind GT so the horses wouldn't be necessary. ;)
  9. 861728

    Craft

    This is such a great thread because it speaks to Colicchio's point that at CRAFT there is nowhere to hide. But that becomes courage for courages' sake and does not a succesful restaurant make. It also points out that save for the mushrooms, the 'craft' of it failed this time. So the concept and execution are linked in a way. I love CRAFT for the same reason Steve Plotnicki resists it. It is the 1st place I think of when I 'just want to eat' As opposed to reading a menu and seeing what comes with what and so on, I can scan the CRAFT sheet and put together my favorites in a minute. It also allows for a speedy raw fish and arugula lunch, or a sweetbreads and slow braised beef dinner. The original post from MAO speaks to a lack of soul and execution, both things I have found Colicchio has in spades. I am one of these letter writing personalities and would encourage MAO, or anyone else for that matter, to send this type of communication to him. Then wait for a reply. You'll know soon enough if there is soul and passion at CRAFT.
  10. ROCK ON! Congratulations!
  11. 861728

    Scarcity Factor

    Yes. Be genuine in the moment. If you've been fighting a winter cold don't feign interest in cocktails when a hot tea would be the best thing. (Does that make sense?) Remember this: The eye with which you see your server is the same eye with which your server sees you.
  12. 861728

    Scarcity Factor

    Yes, you see, there's the rub. It's not about service. Service is not a rubber stamp. If you were to get all of my regular clients together they would each describe me differently. Every owner and manager is after the holy grail of consistency but the only thing that is constant is being present in the moment. And if that moment has me decanting a bottle of white zin then that's the moment and that's good service for that guest.
  13. 861728

    Scarcity Factor

    You've revealed enough. IF you are a shopper we can sense/intuit from the word go and it sets up an unspoken adversarial relationship. Your less than stellar service is because of your role as a shopper. Restaurants that use shoppers don't know squat about hospitality or customer care. I know that's a harsh line to take but as a vetran server I give myself some latitude. And as a veteran Catholic I wish everyone the best of the best of the season!!
  14. 861728

    Scarcity Factor

    So true, and so hard to explain to those who continually suffer bad service. There are many people who care, who know, and who understand, but who can't communicate it. They shouldn't have to. But if they could learn how, it would be a good thing for them.As a Captain in NYC I have been watching this thread with interest. There can be a difference between some one who is a regular of the house and someone who is a regular of the wait staff. I can name a number of "high roller" or otherwise influential guests that no one on staff wants to wait on save for the increased gratuity. And then there are MY regulars. Or my colleagues reglaurs. Those who dine because I wait on them and for whom the interaction is a pleasure for both of us. Whether you drink Iced Tea or Petrus. But what Shaw writes above speaks to the larger issue. There are those people who simply do not know how to have relationships with public servants whether we are capatins or the guy at the pharmacy counter or the clerk at Bloomingdales. I have friends like that and they make me cringe to be with them. But here are my thoughts on restaurant specific issues. These are all things that will make me hate you but the first two lay it out. It's all about the communication and being direct and honest. If you want more of my warm attention throughout the meal then don't waste my time in the beginning. 1. Knowing #### well what you want but asking for my recomendations as a test to see if it will match up with your desire. To see if I'll independantly choose the dish your thinking of for reassurance. If you want confirmation ASK FOR CONFIRMATION! 2. In the same vein of not being direct and honest in your comunication: If you're shopping a price on wine then shop the price. Do not say "I want a 1994 fully extracted California Cabernet in the style of Bryant Family" and then balk when I show you a 趚 bottle of wine. Instead: "I want to spend ุ-์ on a full bodied red and I prefer California Cab." 3. Asking for ice in your mineral water. This identifies you as a person with ZERO awareness, since I know none of you do this please pass on to all of your friends that the ice is made from municipal water. That's enough for now.
  15. Hey Steven, I seem to recall you quibbling with the cheese selection at ADNY. Is it better now?
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