The wife and I had dinner last night at 12th St B&G, first time in quite a while. Had a strange experience that I want to share here, get some comments...
We got there around 6:30, so we had our pick of the deuces, took one we liked. We shared the calamari app, thought it was kind of rubbery (maybe had been sitting for a while), but not greasy and not too bad. Didn't care for either of the dips, though.
Maureen had the hangar steak, which she pronounced superb, and she also liked her sides, especially the potatoes.
I had the cassoulet with duck leg, which I also liked quite a bit (except for the thick layer of fat under the duck skin that I had to extract and dump on the side). The beans and meats were actually quite good. All in all, a creditable rendition.
We shared a bottle of 1997 Jekel Pinot Noir ($30) which we both liked a lot and think is reasonably priced. Skipped dessert, as we often do, although several offerings looked pretty inviting.
Here's the strange part. After we were seated, one of the hosts (who I took to be one of the owners) walked around the restaurant, chatting with the various diners. In fact, he seated the couple next to us and chatted with them about the wines for several minutes and even gave them a half glass of one vintage to try free. Throughout his whole conversation with them, he positioned himself so that his ass was in my face the whole time. It made me a little uncomfortable, but I figured he didn't mean anything and it was just on the edge of obtrusiveness, so I didn't say anything.
Then he turned around and picked up our now empty wine bottle and took it away without a word to us. As he walked away, he noticed the label and returned to our neighbors' table and mentioned that they also had the Jekel Pinot (which he apparently had forgotten to mention in his earlier conversation). He didn't even bother to ask us if we enjoyed the wine.
(A note of irony here: they ended up having the one glass of wine and then plain water, whereas we had the bottle of wine and two bottles of sparkling water, being thirsty.)
He then continued around the restaurant, but ignored us as if we weren't there.
Then, when we left, he was in the doorway chatting with the hostess, so we had to say "Excuse me" to get by, so he moved aside without stopping or otherwise interrupting his conversation with the hostess. Neither of them wished us a good night.
We were both struck by how resolutely we were ignored by everyone except our waitress (who, to be fair, did her job). Maybe we were expecting too much, but we were still surprised by it. When we got out on the street, I mentioned it to Maureen and she immediately said, yeah, she noticed it too. It was almost like we had wandered into someone else's club by mistake and they, being civilized, weren't impolite, but they sure weren't gonna act like they wanted us to come back. I guess it seemed very "cliquish" to me.
I'm now curious to hear what others might say about this (i.e., are we taking this too strongly, did some of you have this same kind of experience there or elsewhere, etc.)