Friday, September 21, 2007

Dining Alone

Sometimes a Diva has to travel alone. Waiting for female and/or male friends to get their passports in order, tickets purchased, hotels reserved and spending money in order takes too much time and you always end up with someone opting out due to lack of funds and poor planning.

I recently visited Seattle, WA. I was there on a business trip and decided to extend a day to become a tourist for a 24-hour period. I had a wonderful day (more about that under a separate post) I decided I would top off my day by going out to dinner at an interesting restaurant myself and co-workers found the evening before.

After my whirlwind sight seeing tour, I returned to my hotel to freshen up and change for my dinner out. I decided I wanted to look casual yet chic...
  • casual = pair of straight jeans
  • chic=button down blouse buttons cleverly left undone,
  • high-heeled open toe sandals and of course my new Nordstrom Rack Rafe handbag and coordinating wallet!
I walked to the restaurant from my hotel, walked straight up to the host/hostess and requested a table. The hostess advised that she would not have a table available until 11:30pm...uh...huh...she did however, suggest that I could sit in the lounge area they serve the restaurant menu there. No problem I said, and ventured into the lounge to find a seat in a strategic spot - preferrably near the bar so I could watch the NY Yankees/Boston Red Sox baseball luck - bar seating was I planted myself at a high table towards the front of the bar/lounge and towards the front of the restaurant. I believe the host (male) took note of me and the next thing I knew, he had brought a waiter to "wait" on me...I felt so important and a bit embarrassed! The waiter and myself discussed wine pairings with a particular fish entree I was going to order. I placed my wine, salad, entree order and sat back to watch the game and relax from that "everyone is looking at me sitting here alone - feeling." There was 2 couples (friends) sharing the table with me and I would occassionally listen in on their conversation...
It took quite a while for my wine to make its way to my table. I noticed the bartender was taking his little sweet time in pouring my wine and overall completing drink orders for the restaurant. It must have been 15 minutes - before the waiter appeared with my wine glass and an entire bottle of wine which he was going to top-off my portion (possibly because I had the last pour). Before the waiter poured the wine into the glass I told him he should return the wine because either cork or something else was floating on top of the wine in the glass...he returned with another glass of wine...this time someones lipstick was encased around the rim...I sent the glass back - 3rd time my wine order was correct. The guy that was part of the group next to me was marveling over the restaurant...blah...blah...blah...was the conversation. He was quite surprised that my wine order wasn't correct. He assured me that this type of service NEVER occurs at the restaurant.
While sipping my wine and waiting for my salad - a gentleman entered the restaurant and inquired with my about the NY Yankees/Boston Red Sox Baseball game. I gave him the score and we started chatting. During the conversation, I learned he was dining alone and I invited him to sit and dine with me. Ladies, this is one of the PERKS of eating out alone...there are OTHER men who eat alone also....LOL BTW: Knowledge of sports is always good!
My entree arrived -- to the food delivery person I advised "you will need to return this entree to the kitchen, I would like a fresh entree prepared I do not want this dish returned after sitting on a hot plate...I ordered a salad and I prefer to consume before the entree. The waiter returned to the table to inquire the problem...I told him they brought out my entree before my salad...blah, blah, the same time, I advised my waiter, I now have a dinner companion and he would like to order wine and food, to which the waiter obliged accordingly. (I sound so proper - tee hee)
Salad appeared at my table...I ordered a mixed green salad with goat cheese, and seasoned pecans w/a vinegrette dressing...Hmmm...salad tasted boring! It occurred to me that I had received the bottom of the bag of pecans! Every pecan but one was totally crushed and looked like crumbs upon my salad! I called the waiter over again, and commented on the salad and advised I'm not going to pay for this salad. The waiter was cool and said "of course" he tried to explain the crumbed pecan thing to me...but he's talking to an experienced food eater and that explanation was totally bogus! Never does the chef totally crush pecans after seasoning and throw the crushed pecans on the salad! How can one taste the so-called seasonings if the item to be seasoned is crushed to bits??? The couple next to me just couldn't believe this fiasco was happening.. the guy asked: "Are you a food critic? It's apparent they must think you are, you have them unnerved!" I gave that raised eyebrow look thinking to myself "He's polite to state that I must have unnerved these people because "he and they" think because I'm a minority I don't know food?" I told him, "if they feel I'm a food critic I've just begun to return food and I'll certainly give them something to become unnerved about!"
My dinner companion was laughing at this scenario! When he received his meal the gravy looked as if it was baked onto the smashed potatoes and the meatloaf a bit overdone - he didn't complain to the waiter but he did tell me. He was very hungry and when you're that hungry YOU just want to eat!
Entree arrived -- I'm sure everyone was holding their breath regarding my reaction to my actual meal...I tasted - thank God it was good!! The fish was so fresh and tasty, it nearly melted in my mouth. I was asked how's the entree - to which I replied: "YUMMY!" Finally, something decent to eat in this restaurant that was created by a chef rockstar, and whose dinner reservations in the dining room was not available until 11:30 pm! The couple next to me were happy to see that I was enjoying my entree and the guy who recommended to his friends apologized for the service and my displeasure. Internally I was amused. I had nothing but time for these people to get my order right and serve me something that was truly worthy of the expensive decor!
Afterwards - Dinner companion and myself took a stroll around downtown Seattle. Seattle is such a great walking town!
It was nice to meet someone in Seattle who lives in the Bay Area...we are planning an actual date...or should say "A fun night out"
Notes to Self:
There is always a silver lining to everything...look for the positive spend less time on the negative and beauty compliments are always good!
BTW: Sisterlocks were gorgeous!!
Lexxus Prefect

1 comment:

Chocolata said...

Oooh...I'm scared of you! You go girl! You've got your blog going on, and your dating swagger. I love it! I can't wait to hear part II about your date back in the Bay.

Your hair looks good on the one picture you've posted. Now you know you've got to post some more pictures :o) I'm glad to see you're blogging though.

Have a wonderful and blessed day!