Friday, February 26, 2010
Photo thanks to JM3 via Flickr
The other night I went to the new Nobu, and it seems like I can't tell anyone that without them becoming maudlin and pouting, "Ohhh, L'Orangerie." Poor L'orangerie, that used to occupy the space. Everyone misses it so. Well, you know what? Screw L'Orangerie. There. I said it. Their foie gras creme brulee was ridiculous. It was an insult to the poor duck or goose who laid down its gluttonous life to make that crap.
People seem to miss some bygone era when waiters treated everyone like crap and they all ate it up with a spoon. It reminded me of hairdressing school and how the old ladies loved it any time the hairdressers got bitchy and told them off or smacked them with the brush.
I was taken to L'Orangerie on my birthday back when it was a real splurge, a rare occasion to ever go out to eat anything anywhere. I dress properly, I have manners, and I no longer have purple hair. Yet from the moment we walked in the door we were sneered at as if we weren't good enough to grace those hallowed halls.
The servers had a friend or a VIP at a nearby table and as a result we were completely ignored all night. You need a fork? Too bad. They didn't even bring me my coffee ever. The only one who noticed my plight and caught my eye with a sympathetic glance was the piano player. So I walked over and put half of the waiter's tip in the giant snifter for tips on the piano.
Well, I ate the frugal way at Nobu last week, in the bar, off the budget menu, and those servers treated us like gold. I love waiters. I like the older lifers for whom it is a noble profession and I love the chatty young ones who make me feel like we are gossiping over the menu. True, I am older and fatter and probably look like I can afford a bigger tip. True, now I am a writer and sometimes they know it, and maybe that changes everything.
Maybe now those waiters at L'Orangerie would be crawling up my ass. But I still can't forgive them for humiliating my then-boyfriend who had saved up his pay to make his foodie girl's Gourmet magazine dream come true.