Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Shook Up

I was reminded the other day of an experience my wife & I had at a popular Italian-American restaurant in the South Loop a few years ago.  We had gone for lunch with a close friend and we were recognized as friends of the chef.  The server suggested we have a glass of prosecco (Italian sparking wine, similar to champagne but made with different grapes and with a different fermentation process), which sounded like a great idea at the time.  So after ordering, he quickly came by with a bottle and made a show of opening it.

Now it was pretty busy and definitely lunchtime in the city.  We had tables to either side.  As the server opened the bottle without covering the cork with a towel, it made a loud pop and shot across the dining room.  Wine spewed everywhere, coating our friend, me, and some on my wife.  With much apology and a red-faced waiter, he ran back to grab another bottle while the bussers and a FOH manager came to remedy the situation.

Until it happened again. 

The second bottle also had issues, and while the wine didn't get us, it got the table behind us.  It was kind of funny the first time, but twice?  If I'd been the one serving the wine I'd have opened it away from the guests or in the back the second time and not presented the bottle.  The other customers weren't as happy about it.  We ended up having a great meal, but next time, we'll do without the show (or the shower). 

I'd like to imagine that it was a disgruntled wine reps last day and he shook an entire case out of some spite to the restaurant, all the while shaking his fist to the sky and mumbling about revenge.  Make for good television at least.

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