It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
It’s usually considered good service, when ordering a bottle of wine, that the server make a show of displaying the label of the bottle and allowing one from the table to taste. Growing up, my parents very rarely ordered bottles of wine. My father enjoyed his reds (or gin martinis) and my mother, until the past decade, only drank white. Despite being quite comfortable in four-star restaurants, because of my parents’ significant taste differences, we never really saw how to graciously accept wine from a server. It happened once in awhile and was typically for special occasions and only at restaurants in which we were friendly with the waitstaff, management and sometimes owners.
It’s also often cheaper to simply buy a bottle if you and your dinner partner are going to have more than one glass of wine. And now that summer is upon us, who doesn’t want to have a little fun, a little venture outside the norm – a little adventure? For those of us who cannot pack the station wagon and head towards beach and oceanside, we use a little deviation from the routine to break those summer days into a vacation-esque event. Dining patio-side has always been one of my favorite ways to break the monotony and make life feel as if I’m on holiday.
Recently some co-workers and I decided to grab a bite to eat after our shift. We ventured to The Standard, which simply isn’t standard mall restaurant fare. To the patio, we exclaimed on a particularly warm evening, and found ourselves thrilled that a Riesling we all enjoyed was on the wine list, and at an excellent price. We promptly ordered it, and recounted to the friendly and informal waitress that we often drank Relax Riesling and hadn’t until that moment realized we all enjoyed the same wine. She came back and displayed for us the bottle, made a show of twisting the cap off and had me taste it to see if it was to our likely. All of which was unnecessary, and for such a nice and dare I say chill waitress, seemingly a little over the top. It broke the fun banter we had with each other and our server! We adored her for how informal she was with us – not unprofessionally so – and how we could incorporate her in our conversation of mall life.
Thursday my sister and I met up for our weekly dinner. We decided to try DeJohns. For some reason I always have fantastic times there, yet never think of suggesting it as a meeting place. We both wanted to dine on a patio, and while the Wine Bar on Lark probably has a better patio, we both craved casual yet delicious pub fare. Without the Lark Tavern, we decided to go to DeJohns. (And it was an excellent choice. Both food and service were excellent.) We decided to drink wine, and with pizza, decided a malbec was perfection. It seemed more cost effective to just buy a bottle, and the thrill of drinking wine with a bottle on the table outside seemed… dreamy. Like we were on vacation together. The server made a show of the bottle, and the uncorking, even going to far as to offer the fake plastic cork for us to examine.
My sister and I are of the opinion that one should just pour the wine already and drink it. We also were engaged in a lively discussion (about MMA of all things oddly enough). While we understood the server was just doing his job, we hadn’t seen each other in two weeks and had some catching up to do. Our conversation was interrupted and neither of us wanted to be rude patrons and dismiss him. After all, our waiter was only doing his job. We had ordered the bottle knowing full-well what that entailed.
I usually dislike commenting publicly about the service I receive places, unless its good service, and I want it to be crystal clear the service received by my parties was excellent both at The Standard and DeJohns. Its the practice I am ranting about. I might be an uncultured cad, but I do believe that wine should be enjoyed over the company with good friends and if the trappings of wine get in the way of enjoying company, then I’ll just order a beer instead.