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Restaurants & Bars 7


Bill | Sep 9, 2002 07:49 PM

The following has happend to me more than a couple of times now and I wanted to see if others have experienced the same thing.

I settled in for a meal at Town last Friday night with my girlfriend. It was early, uncrowded, sedate. I'm a wine fan and fairly knowledgeable, as I've been reading, buying and drinking good wine for over 15 years. I was given the wine list, which was organized interestingly and obviously had a keen wine mind behind it.

In a fine restaurant, I've always felt like talking to the sommelier before I make a final choice: they (should) know what's drinking really well on the list; they can steer me to something that matches the style of wines that I prefer, based on my answers to their questions, etc. And it's fun.

Here's the annoying part: I ask the waiter to send the sommelier. They agree, but five minutes later the floor manager -- is that the Captain? -- comes over: "Can I answer your questions about the list?" "Are you the sommelier ? , I ask, with NO attitude, I might add. He looked momentarily taken a back that I would ask him this: "No." "I'd like to talk to the sommelier, please" I answer, again with no affect on my part. He goes off, the sommelier comes five minutes later, we have a lovely chat, he recommends a great bottle of wine that my girlfriend and I both loved. (A bottle that the sommelier had informed me was a particularly good value as he had gotten as a kind of closeout -- knowledge that the Captain almost certainly wouldn't have been able to impart.)

Maybe it's just me (my girlfriend agreed we me, of course!) , but, when this happens, it makes me feel condescended to -- like whatever my question may be, it doesn't warrant the precious time of the sommelier.

So: has this kind of thing happened to anyone else ?? I've had a few experiences now where waiters or captains have seemingly actively tried to prevent their sommelier from.......well, doing his/her job !! Is it the demand on the sommelier's time, could they be that busy ?? Are they paying them by the consultation (kidding) ?

Now, in an attempt to head off the flames and conclusion-jumping: I'm always polite and smile; my date and I are dressed very well; my demeanor is appropriate for these places; I'm middle-aged and blend right into these places.

Any light shed on this little mystery would be appreciated.....


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