Posts filed under “Food and Drink”

Perfecting the Dining Out Experience

It appears this NY Times piece, which ran back in October, may have escaped Barry’s attention. [BR: I saw it and forwarded to a friend who owns a restaurant.]

Titled 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do, it should be the Holy Grail for any restaurateur.  I have not yet found the restaurant with a spotless compliance record, and wonder if anyone else may have?  Any restaurateurs out there — if so, what say you?

The entire list is a worthwhile read; I’ve culled it down to some of my own personal hot buttons (I’d consider it a home run to find a restaurant that adhered to just these).  17, 75, 76 and 77 are probably what drive me craziest, and will ensure a sub-par tip every time.

Here are some select rules (and here are the best comments, as selected by the column’s author):

1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.

3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.

5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.

8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.

12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.

14. When you ask, “How’s everything?” or “How was the meal?” listen to the answer and fix whatever is not right.

15. Never say “I don’t know” to any question without following with, “I’ll find out.”

17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

21. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.

31. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.

33. Do not bang into chairs or tables when passing by.

52. Know your menu inside and out. If you serve Balsam Farm candy-striped beets, know something about Balsam Farm and candy-striped beets.

56. Do not ignore a table because it is not your table. Stop, look, listen, lend a hand. (Whether tips are pooled or not.)

58. Do not bring judgment with the ketchup. Or mustard. Or hot sauce. Or whatever condiment is requested.

60. Bring all the appetizers at the same time, or do not bring the appetizers. Same with entrees and desserts.

62. Do not fill the water glass every two minutes, or after each sip. You’ll make people nervous.

62(a). Do not let a glass sit empty for too long.

63. Never blame the chef or the busboy or the hostess or the weather for anything that goes wrong. Just make it right.

64. Specials, spoken and printed, should always have prices.

68. Do not reach across one guest to serve another.

69. If a guest is having trouble making a decision, help out. If someone wants to know your life story, keep it short. If someone wants to meet the chef, make an effort.

75. Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

77. Do not disappear.

84(a). Do not let an empty coffee cup sit too long before asking if a refill is desired.

85. Never bring a check until someone asks for it. Then give it to the person who asked for it.

89. Never patronize a guest who has a complaint or suggestion; listen, take it seriously, address it.

95. Never hover long enough to make people feel they are being watched or hurried, especially when they are figuring out the tip or signing for the check.

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

Pinot Noirs for Thanksgiving

Sometime later this week, you will come to the realization that you are either travelling to or hosting a *Thanksgiving dinner. As these tend to be large family affairs, there may be some tensions, arguments and other social problems. My advice to you is to start drinking heavily. I suggest lubricating these affairs with copious…Read More

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

Dessert Wines

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

A Guide to Momofuku Restaurants

A Guide to the Restaurants Momofuku Noodle Bar 171 First Ave. Cuisine: Mr. Chang’s first restaurant, opened in 2004, features items like ramen with pork belly (shrimp and grits, pictured above, has appeared on the menu). A “late night” menu, served from 12 to 2 a.m., includes smoked chicken wings. Famous dish: The $9 pork…Read More

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

Starbucks “Instant” Coffee

I wandered over to Starbucks after the radio show, to taste the vaunted new instant. We have had positions in SBUX over the past few months, so I wanted to try the new beverage. It was ( as I expected) watery and thin. To be fair, this was not a blind taste test, and my…Read More

Category: Food and Drink

There are 215 Starbucks within 5 Miles of my Office

Over at, jason started a thread about the maximum Starbucks density and Starbucks center of gravity of Manhattan. It seemed that 165 was the maximum # of SBUX found within 5 miles of your location. On a lark, I punched in my street address — 535 5th — and BOOM! We have a new…Read More

Category: Food and Drink

Your Coffee Sucks!

Note:  I originally published this in 2004, but since it was orphaned at the old site, I figured I should bring it here. > I’ve been to your home or apartment. We’ve broken bread, drank some wine or beer, had a few laughs and a good time. Its getting late, and some caffeine would be…Read More

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

Travelling to Sag Harbor’s American Hotel by Ferrari

We’ve been enjoying the gorgeous weather and beaches on the East End, the wineries on the North Fork, and some outstanding restaurants. Most of the meals we’ve been indulging in have been local seafood, simply prepared and served. Its not fancy — or cheap — but its fresh and delicious. At one canal-side restaurant, we…Read More

Category: Food and Drink

Recession Special

Steamboat Landing is a local place on the water, serving drinks, dinner, etc. The views are lovely, right on the water, nestled in the hills of the North Shore. They have what has to be the best recession deal in town: An egg sandwich, with cheese and choice of breakfast meat. Skip the roll, and…Read More

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend

Deano !

For you Rat Pack fans: Check out this great looking print from Drew Friedman of Dean Martin: >

Category: Food and Drink, Weekend