Winter Solstice – the longest night. Also, Camille’s Birthday Part II at The Franklin, followed by another friend’s B-day celebration launching paper lanterns at The End of the World.
We were seated at one of the long communal tables, and it was clear from the start that our server was intimidated by the amazing amount of sparkles and fierce outfits worn by my two girlfriends and I. Not her fault per se, but her initial intro was remarkably long-winded and generally lacking in anything useful. I’ll call her “Sophie” because I’m not an asshole and don’t need to publicly shame our skittish waitress.
Maybe was because the place recently opened and we scared her off by asking reasonable questions about the menu like, “Is this Champagne listed by the glass a rosé?” It’s possible that she was just so green that everything and anything could shake her. I can’t say for sure because I didn’t have the opportunity to ask our waitress much of anything as the meal progressed. (Mostly what she said to us in our few encounters was related to how cool our outfits were…so for that, again, thanks, Sophie.)
If you are thinking that we were being drunk and obnoxious, I assure you we were not. How could we be? We had zero prior drinks and our first round of drinks were empty for 20 minutes while we attempted to get her attention. (She wasn’t busy with other tables either. She was polishing wine glasses to the side of the bar, directly in our line of vision, refusing to make eye contact.) And for the record, she said that no, the Champagne was not a rosé. We gave her the benefit of the doubt and three grown-up girls were actually looking at this pink glass of sparking wine thinking “Maybe it’s the lighting?” as we each took turns tilting the flute to get a better angle. It was not. The girl retrieved the bottle with the intent of proving to us that she was right (she wasn’t). After several minutes of confusion we established that no, it wasn’t the pink glitter on my eyes reflecting in the glass, and no… no one else is having trouble seeing, the wine is in fact pink.
Whatever, it happens. Not a huge deal. I was starving so I ordered a bunch of small plates – avocado tempura, the fish crudo of the day and a steak tartare. We also tried to order raw oysters for the table but she came back after dropping cocktail forks to give us the bad news that they were sold out.
Moving on. I was surprised when the only hot plate (avocado) was served first, but it was delicious and that kind of meal is incredibly flexible. After the crudo came out, there was still no steak tartare to be seen so we checked with Sophie on the status of the dish.
She was really awkward with a wave of “Let me go check with the kitchen…” and a variety of other reconstructions of the same. Let’s face it, Sophie. You forgot. I actually didn’t care that she forgot. I just still wanted it. Why be pissed at the end when I could just remind her that we’re still waiting on a dish.
The tartare came out and it looked like someone opened a can of dog food and flipped it over on a plate. It was probably the ring mold combined with the fact that it was all chopped up, the steak brown, the balsamic brown, strawberries red and the quail egg raw. I had to give myself a pep talk to take a bite. I’m glad I did because although the appearance of the dish was garnering it zero points, it was actually delicious.
Then she dropped a knife on Caitlin. And then a fork on me. Oh, Sophie. We were watching her attempts and knew it was headed for disaster but we all put more than our share of hours in the service industry and these things happen…not a huge deal.
But then she avoided us. Like REALLY avoided us.
I managed to find her hiding in the corner to request a candle to surprise Camille for her birthday dessert. The ice cream took about 20 minutes if not more, giving us ample time to crack jokes about milking cows and making ice cream. I should’ve written some of them down, we were kind of crushing it.
Finally, girlfriend dropped the ice cream but RAN off. I really wanted a glass of wine or perhaps an amaro with dessert and she was impossible. I even started to order something and I knew she heard me and still she jetted off. Seriously not helping her sales.
I walked to the bar to order a drink because I’m over it and the ice cream was melting. The bartender gave me a snarky comment asking about my server, and reminding me that if I want to order a drink from him, I need to start a separate tab. I’m okay with that and order the Cardamaro Amaro and a shot of whiskey before I don my fur and head to the frigid outdoors. The bill is $18 and some change and I handed him a $20 and he turns to go the register and brought zero change. Which is fine, but I enjoyed the surprise on his face when he saw that I wasn’t planning on giving him a shitty tip, and that I handed him a 20 and then fished out more from my wallet and I’d placed a $5 on the bar top. He didn’t hate me anymore and we chatted while he made drinks. I assumed he was mixing up a few drinks at once so you can imagine my surprise when he handed me a shot of whiskey and some cocktail. Hmmmm I think. But decide to just go join my friends back at the table.
Now we had a new game… “Guess the Drink” because we were curious what he made me. Amaro is generally served neat so clearly he misunderstood me. Actually he didn’t – he was being super judgey and assumed that I wouldn’t order something as refined as an amaro since I didn’t order from my server. After a few tasting notes shared among the table we had our suspicions about what the drink was, and I decided to pop over to my new bartender friend and asked.
Wooh! We (Caitlin) were right. Bartender didn’t hate me anymore and was happy to give me the drink that I actually ordered. Kind of, he went the extra mile and poured me a taste of an amaro that he preferred along with the one that I ordered. I went with the bartender’s choice. And as for the cocktail… it was called Accidents Will Happen.
Don’t they just?
PS: I’d like to say a big FUCK YOU to Yelpers who call out a server by name in a negative review for anything short of being actually mean and offensive. Not even our little dear Sophie will hear a bad word about her because honestly, overall I’d still go back. No big deal. Surrounded by great friends, the food was good, drinks were good. No one died.
That rant was for you, Wendy M., you are a bitch. I will save you an extended defense of myself because I remember Wendy M. and she isn’t worth it.