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Outer Boroughs

Selected specials at Al di la?

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Selected specials at Al di la?

trimalchio | Mar 3, 2003 05:19 PM

A strange thing happened to me last night at Al di la, and I was wondering whether it has happened to anyone else (it may, in fact, be a practice common to small restaurants, for all I know):

I arrived with my girlfriend shortly after 6, and we were seated along the back wall, between two other couples who had arrived just before us. Just as we were given our menus, a waiter appeared at the table to our right, and began reciting the specials; we listened (if there are more than 2, I always forget some of them), then picked up our conversation as he finished.

Soon our waitress appeared, and duly recited the specials, but neglected to mention one that the other waiter had included. When my girlfriend pointedly asked her about it, she hesitated, then hemmed and hawed a bit as she told us that some specials, because of short supply, were given only to certain waitpersons to offer. My girlfriend then asked whether she could, in fact, order the "secret" special. She was told she could, and did; it came, she was very pleased, and our meal and the service were all that they should have been. But we were both puzzled about the restricted special--it was far too early for them to have run out of it, unless it was in such short supply that even offering it in the first place seems (to me) bad judgement.

So, my question is, has this happened to anyone else? Is it common practice? Or was our waitress just trying to cover for a pardonable omission with a ridiculous lie?

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