>There was this couple griping in German about the hostess; their server happened to speak and understand German. She held her tongue until they’d ordered, received their meal and were halfway through it, then asked – in perfect German – if it was good.
Ah, sweet Demütigung!
A nice old lady asked me for a bottle of “the Tuscan Chardonnay”, a roasted chestnutty little thing by Felsina, one of the most respected producers in Tuscany. Then she asked me “Is it DRYYYYY?” (See Catastrophic Post-Modernist Nightmare) I asked her what she usually likes to drink. She said, “I hate to admit it, but Yellowtail.”
“Trust me. You’ll love this. It’s infinitely more interesting, layered and subtle than that butterball.”
“Fine,” she said. “And could you bring a glass of ice with it?”
Later, her trashy little granddaughter showed up, in fake tan and stiletto boots, all of 21, 22. She loudly proclaimed to her grandmother that she ought to try one of her mussels. The grandmother said, “What are they like?”
“They’re just like oysters,” the girl replied loudly, obviously pleased with herself. “They taste like slimy fish.”
Wrong three different ways in one breath. Most impressive.
A late table came in, about five minutes before closing. She was already drunk. He was enabling. She announced, with a boredom that still managed to sound zealous, that she used to run a wine bar. Then she slurred, “I don’t like sweet. Nothing sweet.”
(See For the Love of GAWD, people, stop saying you hate sweet wine cause you don’t and you shouldn’t anyway but it doesn’t matter cause you DON’T…)
I described a Salice Salentino to her as a lush and juicy blueberry with peppery wood tannins and nice acidity to balance the fruit, and she said “Hellloo? I told you I don’t like ‘sweet’.”
It took me a second to realize she meant the reference to blueberries.
“It’s not a Jolly Rancher,” I said. “But it is made from fruit, so…”
Ran a wine bar, my ass. More like ran BY a wine bar.
“What does brown butter ice cream taste like?”
“And the creme fraiche?”
My favorite exchange of the week, though, was courtesy of my coworker, C___, whose deadpan deliveries are the kind of genetic superpower I might have had if I weren’t conceived on hallucinogens.
After scanning the very short dessert menu for some time, a lady looked up at C____ and said,
“I like chocolate ice cream, what do you suggest?”
“Amy’s,” he answered, referring to our local ice cream chain.
Guess you had to be there.