Jump to content


legacy participant
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by 861728

  1. 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. 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. WAY WAY off topic but my favorite story is where a woman applied anti-bacterial solution to the blarney stone before kissing it ...
  4. 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. 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. 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 is right behind GT so the horses wouldn't be necessary. ;)
  9. 861728


    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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!!
  13. 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.
  14. Hey Steven, I seem to recall you quibbling with the cheese selection at ADNY. Is it better now?
  15. As a waiter allow me to chime in: (Keep in mind I think the BABBO event was wrong) 1. Waiters are executing managments' policies. And while it seems unequal to punish the waiter for doing so, there is not a waiter in the world who thinks he shouldn't be rewarded when the policy pleases you. If I were the person who was charged for water that I didn't order and management refused to remove it from the check I would most certainly deduct that amount from the gratuity. Steven will tell you that the fastest way to change a management policy is through the wallet of the waiter. We are not going to contniue with a practice that kills our income. 2. To say that you are forced to drink bottled water is a lie. You may experience pressure, but giving in to that pressure is on you. Don't be such victims. What sort of person are you who feels that I have to power to twist your arms? If you want tap, ask for it. Be clear and direct. 3. Danny Meyer isn't supposed to make a profit? His restaurants are good value in their categories but they are still expensive restaurants. 4. Shaw is right. At the BABBO price point of dining the number of guests who desire water service to continue uninterrupted are far greater than those of you who wish consideration on each bottle.
  16. Be patient. The restaurant that treats you like a regular on your 1st visit, that feels comfortable, that welcomes you with service and wows you with the food. THAT is the one to keep. Shaw is right, of course, we (I'm a server) can spot the disingenuous guest at 50 paces. I know when you're trying to set up gimme reservations for corporate showing off and when you really dig what's going on. Some regulars do drink big ticket wines but mainly MY regulars are tremendously nice people. I know their kids, their jobs, and I serve in their homes sometimes. My regulars and I called and emailed each other on the 11th. Which is to say, we have a relationship. So just wait and it will click for you. And, ask yourself, why you would want to be a regular at a restaurant that treats you so poorly?
  17. Well, I wouldn't want to have dinner with Jesus given what happened the last time he sat down to supper ... :) My dinner companions are famous only to me, my relatives that have passed on. I would love to sit down to the Thanksgiving dinners of my youth and collect the wisdom of my father and grandparents.
  18. Guest: "Waiter! This coffee tastes like mud!" Me: "Well sir, it is fresh ground." Waiter to a table of women who lunch: "Ladies, is anything OK?" Guest: "Waiter, what do you suggest?" Me: "I suggest your read the menu, pick something you like and tell me."
  19. 861728

    favorite bottled beers

    Given that many are bottle condidtioned I'd have to go with Belgian ales as my beer of choice. Specifically Corsendonk. Or, if a lighter palate was called for the gold standard Duvel or upstart Troubador.
  20. All of the restaurants in the Union Square Hospitality Group charge ฤ per bottle corkage.
  21. Pieces of iced coconut on a hot day in Firenze!
  22. Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one logging in on Saturday night. I was agressive on purpose and probably because I read ALL of the pet peeves at once so they seemed to carry more weight. I also like to start a dialogue! BUX: Listening is the biggest part of my job. I do my best not to respond with any affirmation when it is not solicited. This is actully a huge issue in terms of training new servers. I was unaware that Danielle was working from another language and so could not make an accurate judgement about the translation. I do however see this behaviour time and time again wherein it's not enough for us to truly be sorry and to work to fix the problem. We must be punished for the original mistake over and over again. Hey, it's a pet-peeve thread and Danielle hit a nerve. ;-) Of course the no price menu scenario is obsolete. It's absurd. YVONNE: Hi! Not dialing long d. The number is very, very, very specific and instantly recognizeable to a certain population. I don't mean to be cryptic but it's my way of sending a hello to this group. The 'tron' thing is not limited to this board and since Holly was the last person who used the term she, unluckily, got both barrels.
  23. "The eye with which you see your waiter is the same eye with which your waiter sees you." As a SERVER I am taken aback by the thinly veiled vitriol expressed here as pet peeves. Allow me to respond, in kind, from the other side of the show. RECITING SPECIALS W/OUT PRICES: You are all going to think I am crazy but like Dave Barry says "I am not making this up." The majority of my guests do not want to hear prices with specials. There is a feeling that mentioning a number is gauche. People have weird issues with money folks. I'm not taking sides. WAITERS WHO SAY 'EXCELLENT': 99% of my tables want recomendations and confirmation that they've chosen well. My advice and approval is sought during every course of the meal. If you happen to be the person who simply looks at me and orders without any input and your decision lands on a course that happens to be a home run, my enthusiasm may come out as an "excellent" because I've been doing it all night. HOLLY MOORE: Please, do not refer to another human being as a 'tron' it's insulting. If you wish to be gender neutral please use the term 'Server' The rest of your post begs many questions. You don't want me checking in with you, growl to keep me at bay, experience responding to an inquiry as 'Having it dragged out of you' and then have the audacity to insinuate that waiters as a group could care less about you, resent having to interact with you and are forced into communication? Give me a huge break. We call this projection. I suppose, though, that it's OK for your 'favorite waitER' (we have human now don't we) to chat it up with you? BAD COFFEE: Yeah, it's a problem. The main obstacle is cost. Save for your finer restaurants, no one wants to pay Ū+ for a cup of joe, but they want it to be great. SEPERATE CHECKS: I'm fairly certain this has gotten better over the last 10 years or so. I do know that the latest restaurant computer software makes doing so a breeze. The biggest downside in years past was the time factor. The best way to insure a hassle free transaction is to let your server know from the start. Also, separate payments and separate checks are TWO completley different things. If all you're doing is dropping two credit cards down that is not separate checks. REACHING ACROSS: If a server is reaching across out of laziness this is a bad thing. If, however, it has to do with the way the table is configured i.e. against a wall, then it may be unavoidable. We generally try to excuse ourselves. But, if it's really going to bug you, try moving your glass or plate to the outside of the table to avoid being reached across. DANIELLE: What gives? Using both sarcasm and lies you set the Maitre d' up and tried to "disturb him" and he performed flawlessly, offered a "profound apology" and remedied the situation right away and you still found it necessary to punish the original mistep by attacking managements decision? Manners, protocol, diplomacy all suggest that when the confilct is resolved to let the moment pass and get on with enjoying life. The proper response to the gracious Maitre d' would have been a heartfelt "Thank-You" Also, Ill join you in your intolerance as long as I as a server am allowed to correct your behaviour when I disprove of it? DEAL?
  24. Whatever you do don't fall for the 'Bistro Burger' trap.
  • Create New...