Sunday, February 11, 2007

Is Twice a Coincidence or a Pattern?

We love desserts. Who doesn't? But we really love desserts. My son is something of an aficionado, and it's an area that he has shown interest in - both creating desserts and eating them - that isn't related to video games. So when we heard about this fancy dessert restaurant in our neighborhood he begged us to go. It's a very small, elegant place that seats less than 20. They serve dessert in 3 courses, and present these very small, very persnickety little delicacies in front of you, with a wine pairing if you choose. It's a very special place, the kind of place you go only on the most special occasions, or when someone from out of town is visiting because there are very few cities that can support this kind of niche dessert dining.

The third time we went there was for Max's 13th birthday. We planned a Saturday evening with 4 of his friends at a comedy club to be followed by the dessert fantasy. We arrived after 10:00pm and there was a very long line. As I put our names on the list I was told they couldn't seat all 7 of us at once so we split into 2 parties: 4 and 3, figuring that at least we would be called one after the other. It's so small, how far apart could we sit? While we waited the kids got a little spirited, but basically kept themselves entertained on the sidewalk in front.

At some point while waiting, the maitre d' came out and one of Max's friends, a little hyper, called him by his first name and got a little too friendly. The maitre d' took immediate offense and spoke to him quite harshly, saying that he was disrespectful and would not get far in life. Really it was a bit much. I suggested we leave, but Max really had his heart set and asked to stay. At around 11:00 they called our party of 4. I mentioned again to the maitre d' that the other half of our party was still outside and anything he could do to help would be great. I also noticed that they had seated a table of 7 just before us! It was after 11:30 and we were already on the 2nd course, a few others were seated in between, and finally the other 3 were called. My husband was so angry he decided not to come in. The agitation was palpable and at some point my husband told the man that he had done everything to ruin our evening (or something to that effect). This is startling because my husband is not the type to ever speak up, he is more the type to devise complicated revenge fantasies for the next few weeks.

When we finished eating, the kids way too tired and a bit upset after all the drama to really enjoy it, it was close to midnight. When I asked for the check, the maitre d' asked me to speak to him privately in the back. I was sure he was going to reprimand me for bringing 5 kids into an adult-style restaurant. Instead, he apologized profusely and told me that he couldn't accept our payment. That certainly cheered everybody up, and of course, we have since been back and will likely go again. All revenge fantasies were null.

THEN, tonight, we were celebrating Max's high school acceptances and took along one of his friends to a new dessert restaurant. This place is very kid-friendly and specializes in chocolate everything, really huge desserts that spare no whipped cream or sugar. They put topping upon topping in front of you until you've eaten so much you literally want to vomit. What a pleasurable way to get to vomiting, much nicer than from too much rum. Max even ordered the chocolate syringe - really a huge plastic syringe filled with liquid chocolate that you squirt onto other chocolate, or of course, directly into your mouth.

In between slurps we were retelling the story of the prior free dessert meal when, right at the end of the story, with timing that you only see in movies, my husband said "and it seems like once again we will get free dessert because ... doesn't this look like GLASS?"

And sure enough, he had just pulled 2 pieces of glass from his mouthful of warm chocolate cake smothered in strawberries, cream and syrup. They were 2 pieces because he had bit the one big piece in half. His gum was slightly bleeding. The manager was very apologetic and brought him a new dessert, took our address and then told us that the meal was on them.

So the question is, how many dessert-only restaurants are there, and can we continue to get free food from them? Is twice a coincidence or a pattern? Will the savings help me pay for the dental work that is sure to follow? And why has this never happened to us at a normal main course real meal restaurant?

1 comment:

Larry Slade said...

So were are these places? I've never heard of this sort of thing.
It's sounds like you all have a pretty good time.