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When the bartender eavesdrops....

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When the bartender eavesdrops....

susancinsf | Dec 7, 2005 06:26 PM

My son and I had dinner at the bar of a moderate neighborhood small plates type of place last night (Tuesday). I don't know if it is relevant, but I will mention that we asked for a table, but were told that without a reservation only bar seats were available. Ok, that was a little strange given that the dining room never did fill up while we were there. Whatever, we were fine with the bar, which was comfortable and provided a nice view of some of the dishes being plated. Pacing was reasonably good although the bartender did seem to disappear a few times.

Neither one of us had ever dined at the place, so we were (quietly! really! I swear!) critiquing various aspects as we dined. Despite being turned off by the initial reception, we were mostly quite pleased and positive.

Anyway, after several small plates and one drink each, we were handed a dessert menu. Son and I proceeded to have a discussion of the various desserts, during which I pointed out that, of the five desserts, two had bananas in them, and were therefore out of consideration (I don't eat bananas in any form). Son proceeded to tease me, asking me if 'when I wrote up my comments' (he meant on Chowhound of course :-)) I was going to give the place a negative rap for having the nerve to serve bananas. He then suggested that, since I thought the chocolate sundae sounded good other than the fact that it had bananas, that perhaps we could ask to split a sundae, but hold the bananas. (Son would have happily eaten an entire sundae himself, but he knew I was buying and was probably trying to keep the bill down...)

I could have sworn that bartender had done one of his periodic disappearing acts while we were contemplating dessert, but obviously not, since shortly after our conversation, the bartender returned, took the menu from the bar where we had left it and said, "ok, one sundae, two spoons, no bananas, right?"

Well, I have to admit, I was a little dumbfounded and tempted to look under the bar to try and find where they put the bug! Son and I were talking to each other, I wasn't aware that the bartender was anywhere nearby, much less listening, it was intended to be just a conversation between the two of us, we weren't talking loudly...and yet, despite all of that: bartender obviously (over) heard us talking!

I mentioned this to hubby when I got home. His response: "are you complaining? Sounds like unusually good service to me".

Well, I don't know. Was it great service, or was the bartender being presumptive in basically acknowledging that he had overheard our conversation? Any thoughts welcome, as I am still sort of creeped out by the whole thing.

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