Not About Food

Walked out of BLT Steak


More from Not About Food

Not About Food

Walked out of BLT Steak

TomK | | Jul 28, 2004 09:54 PM

I'm still angry.

My girlfriend and I were seated on time for our reservation (which was good, because there were no seats at the bar). The room was very loud, which I hadn't expected; not to my taste, but I understand that it makes some people feel that they're in a special place. A waiter came to the table after a minute or so, dropped the menus and the wine list on the tabletop between us, and told us that the specials were listed on the wall, behind me and to my right. "Willyouhavetapwaterorbottled?OK." Then, without another word, he rushed away.

I had been looking forward to a Manhattan. No matter, I thought; when he comes back, I'll order one. Meanwhile, my girlfriend was wriggling and shifting in her seat, trying to get a clear line of sight at the specials board, a good 50 feet from where we were sitting. No way. I, however, by turning my head 150 degrees or so over my right shoulder, could just make them out. I reported, then we took up the menus.

We had a lengthy discussion about the specials, the menus, the wine. The delicious anticipation with which I had envisioned my Manhattan was curdling into bitter disappointment. A busboy came and filled our glasses with water. No one else came to the table in the space of 20 minutes. We began discussing whether to leave. Finally, my girlfriend (who was facing the passageway between the tables) said, "Here comes the waiter. I'll tell you what: if he passes us again without stopping, let's leave." He didn't even slow down.

Could I have grabbed him on his next pass? Sure, or I could have gone to complain to the maitre'd. But by that point it had been spoiled; the excitement and anticipation were gone; even the most incredible food would have turned to ashes in my mouth.

Yes, I have high expectations for the quality of service in a restaurant where I expect to pay $200 (before tax and tip), but I'm not unreasonable. If someone--anyone--even the busboy--had volunteered an apology (a solicited apology really wasn't going to cut it at this point), and had taken my drink order, it would have made a world of difference. But no one did.