We usually get together during the summer at a New Jersey shore point but since the timing didn’t work last summer we scheduled for January. (I know, what were we thinking! It was about 15 degrees outside. That’s fireplace weather!)
We went to a very trendy popular local restaurant. Overall it was a fun evening but some things just didn’t make sense.
First, as seems to be the custom lately, we couldn’t be seated until the whole party was there. That meant we had to stand 15 minutes. We were early and the other couple was slightly late by 5 minutes. There was no room at the bar, not even standing room and there was no place to sit. We stood at the door with about 10 other people waiting. It was cold so we kept our coats on.
That meant I couldn’t have my first drink yet. Any good restaurant knows that getting the first drink service is especially important. It sets the tone for the evening.
As we were seated I noticed that there were a lot of open tables. We could have been seated and I could have had a drink. Now I’m a little bit grumpy.
The menu was disappointing. Everything was ala carte (read expensive). Most of the main courses were in the $20 to $30 range (without sides). Many were pasta dishes.
The college friend’s wife had a glass of house Chardonnay. It was $20. I can understand that if we were in a fancy restaurant or it was selected from a wine list but it was the damn house wine! It was Chardonnay for heaven’s sake! (Note to self: perhaps we could serve her Thunderbird next time she is at our home.)
The sneaky part about ala carte menus is that everything looks reasonable until you add them all together. Yikes! The sides are expensive but they serve 2 to 3. Well, supposing only one person wants it?
It will be a while before we go back there. We had a great time because of the companionship. My spaghetti was wonderful but there is a local restaurant that serves great spaghetti for half the price (with wonderful sides). Oh yes, my margarita, when I finally got it, was lousy. Now that is a problem.