April 10, 2013

Golden comfort

Pin It

I was supposed to be a good boy tonight.  I was supposed to have a session with my personal trainer, who was gonna kick my ass thoroughly.  Then I would have staggered out of the gym to have a bowl of noodles somewhere, then head home and allow my aching body to recover.

But my trainer fell ill and cancelled on me.  Not surprisingly he cancelled on My (Favorite) Birdbrain Cousin, too, as our sessions were meant to be back-to-back.  I haven't seen Bird for a while, and decided to see if she wanted to get together for a quick bite.  My original intention was to get something simple, but it seems that she never wants to do "simple" with me, and actually had been suggesting that we go have cheese to "celebrate" my workout sessions.  Sigh...

So we ended up at Gold by Harlan Goldstein.  Not quite as simple as I was looking for, but it's an easy enough choice for me... and I haven't been back since Harlan got his macaron.  There are a few things on the menu that I count as "comfort food", and I figured I will simply order up one dish.

But it got slightly more complicated than that... We ended up splitting an arugula and tomato salad, which was at least a good amount of greens and roughage.   The inside of my mouth had been scraped by the baguette from bahn mi at lunch, and the balsamic vinegar seemed extra sharp tonight... ouch.

Harlan was surprised that I didn't get the pasta with carabineros, knowing how much I absolutely love them.  No, it's been waaaay too long since my last bowl of hand-crafted tagliatelle, Italian wild boar ragout, melting organic egg and shaved Pecorino cheese, and I needed another fix.  This was a BIG bowl of pasta... with tons of ragout and that nice, runny egg on top.  Very yum, and I was very full by the time I got done.  Bird had a taste and said it reminded her of bolognese... No, my dear cousin, this was much, much better...

2004 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors - red fruits, ripe, dried herbs and eucalyptus on the nose.  Still concentrated and somewhat tannic.  This was OK but not a great wine.

I realize that I'm an absolute pain-in-the-ass when it comes to wine service, as I can be really particular about serving temperature (especially when it comes to whites) and the size of the pour.  This is why I usually keep the bottle on the table and try to pour the wine myself.  Tonight's wine service happened to hit a nerve...

I still had what I thought was a reasonable amount of wine in my glass, so I politely turned down a waiter's offer to pour more wine into my glass.  A second waiter came over mere seconds later, trying to pour more wine into what must have seemed like an empty glass to them.  I was annoyed but tried to remain polite while saying "No".  I was already starting the process of posting something on Facebook about this when, not one minute later, a third person came over and asked nicely: "May I pour you some wine?"

I think he was surprised, shocked, and confused when I replied sternly: "No, you may not!"  My blood was boiling by now.  I know each of the three staff meant well, and that they were only trying to do their jobs, but having 3 people coming to ask the same question within a space of two minutes was simply too much for me.

I did end up posting something on Facebook, and a discussion ensued between my friends and I.  Sometime later in the evening, Harlan picked this up on Facebook and came over to ask me about it.  We ended up having a good laugh about it as I explained the situation.  I understood that many different customers have different preferences when it comes to wine service, so it's always hard for waitstaff to figure out what type of service to deliver.  They weren't being rude, incompetent or doing anything wrong.  It so happens that tonight, like on many other nights, I just wanted the staff to leave my bottle alone.  It was sitting on the table less than a foot away from me, and I can very well pour my own wine...

In spite of this little episode, I was still really happy being back here, and thoroughly enjoyed my comfort dish.  Now I need to come back for lunch another day to get my carabineros...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map