A post for a Friday

So last night I and a friend went to Florent in the meatpacking district for dinner. Florent is a 24-hour “diner” that serves, in addition to burgers, salads, etc., a nice menu of French dishes and has a full bar. We were relaxing, enjoying some wine, and finishing up our desserts when the hostess – who sports a beehive, by the way – came over and asked us if we wouldn’t mind leaving, because there were a lot of people waiting for tables. Which was true – there were a crowd of people gathered by the door. But I did not want my Thursday evening to end at 8:30. I also found the request a little rude. If we had been picking at salads for two hours, maybe, but we each ordered drinks, entrees, dessert, and had been in there less than an hour and a half. I have a lot of respect for people in the food service industry, and did not stiff them on the tip, but I doubt I’ll be going back anytime soon – at least when it’s cold outside and there’s the possibility of being prematurely ejected back into the freezing temperatures. Especially on 9th Ave – the wind off the river is positively frightening.

Is this standard for NYC restaurants, or do I have the right to be annoyed?

***

On a more positive note, the other day as I was heading in to work I was sitting next to a woman and her male friend. The guy was misquoting the “Simpsons” so badly I wanted to reach across her and smack him on the back of his head. However, a few moments later he began speaking elegantly and in depth about some of the highlights of MoMA’s collection and the new building. So all was forgiven. And I was grateful, yet again, to be in the little bubble of a city where guys who look like ex-fratboy business-types nevertheless know a lot about Robert Rauschenberg. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the MoMA myself, quoting the Simpsons *correctly* and hoping anyone notices.

2 Comments so far

  1. barry (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2005 @ 3:19 pm

    An hour and a half, given the typical service at Florent, isn’t too long for entrees + desserts. I’m surprised. Usually they’re more lackadaisical about moving people out.


  2. Charlie O'Donnell (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2005 @ 7:41 pm

    You’re right… the waitress was wrong. When you have a restaurant seat people at a table, you take the risk (if you don’t have a posted seating policy) of people sitting there forever. If they want to have “sittings” that’s fine, just make it clear to the customers upfront. Without a standing policy, I think you just have to eat it when people take long. Never go back there again.



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