My husband has breakfast every Wednesday morning with a group of men from our church. They decided last week that they wanted to have a Christmas get-together and include wives. So tonight 20 of us had reservations at a new Italian restaurant here in town. It was a little nicer than the places my husband and I usually have dinner...meaning it didn't have a drive-through window. And they had candles on the tables. And they were lit. And they had cloth tablecloths and cloth napkins. I was sure glad I got all dressed up. I'm kidding ya'll - I'm not one to dress up but I did have on my best black jeans and a Christmas sweater. For me that IS dressed up!
We were a timely group and the last couple arrived at 6:10; not bad for that big a group. But you know us old-timers...we're the early crowd because we have to be in bed by 9:00. However, things started to go downhill pretty quickly. It was nearly 6:30 before they offered drinks. Since we're a church group they didn't get many takers but a couple of folks (most of them doctors who are practicing what they preach) had a glass of red wine. They were pampering their hearts I'm sure. :) They did take orders pretty quickly after the drinks though so I thought we were in good shape. I have to interject here that if you're having pasta a salad should be included and not priced separately. Otherwise, if you don't order a salad, you're just going to have a plate of pasta and nothing else. Does that seem right to you? I'm just sayin'. At my house if I have pasta I serve salad. They don't. Unless you order it separate and pay extra. Enough about that. The salads were good but the house salads were piled high and the Caesar salads were skimpy...what was that about? If you're thinking of the cost it would be the other way around, wouldn't it? Maybe they were just running low on the makin's for Caesar salads. Whatever.
We waited on our entrees and visited. And visited. And waited. And visited. And waited. Somewhere around 8:00 they brought out our entrees. Except for the two whose orders weren't correct and who didn't get their meals till the rest of us were finishing up. Somewhere after 8:30 we left there - full because the food was good and we, no maybe I mean I, ate lots of bread with pesto. One couple whose order was messed up (they brought her spaghetti bolognese when she ordered lasagna bolognese and heaven knows those two aren't the same thing, right?) and who didn't get her lasagna till I was done with my meal, also were charged incorrectly. The waiter assured them it was ok because the entree he put on there was the same price. Except the lady said it wasn't - they were overcharged by about $2.50. She said this to her husband after the waiter left but by then her husband was so disgusted he said he'd just pay the $2.50 if he could just go home! Another gentleman was charged for two glasses of wine but he only had one.
Ok, it's new. They had a full house. On a Tuesday night, who knew? They had plenty of waiters. But I'm thinking their kitchen is small. And there were 20 of us with 20 different orders (or maybe only a half dozen different entrees, really) to try to get out at the same time and that has to be hard. I sure wouldn't want to do it, which is why I'm not in the restaurant business. So being the forgiving person that I am I just think I'm glad I got a night out and don't sweat the small stuff.
And that would be the end of it except for this one tiny problem I can't get past. An Italian restaurant - how would you expect it to be decorated? A little Italian maybe? They had lovely pictures on the walls.....of lions, tigers, zebras and an ostrich. Lovely pictures, really. I didn't know those were Italian animals, did you?
**edited to note: If you have a restaurant, for heaven's sake take the tails off the shrimp when serving Shrimp Fettucini!