Had dinner at Alma last night with a few friends (there were four of us). This isn't a review of the meal (though it was quite good--and the Gazpacho Bloody Mary is one of the better cocktails I've had in some time) so much as it is a report on the right way to handle a much-discussed topic on this board.
We had been in the restaurant for over two hours, we had paid our check and were enjoying an engaging conversation. I noticed that there were some people waiting for tables and I had a hunch that we were about to be asked to give up ours. As the manager approached, I prepared myself to be horribly offended by the request I knew was coming.
Well, bravo to Alma's manager--I wish I could remember exactly how he phrased it, but he gently offered to buy us a round of drinks if we would do him the favor of moving to either the bar or anthother table, so that he could accomodate his last reservation of the night. The manner in which he did so was so tactful and disarming that we were more than happy to help him out and relocate.
After we moved, he came by at least two more times to thank us again--and we left feeling far better about the experience than we would have if we had just paid our check and left.
What a difference some tact makes!