Thursday, 25 February 2010

Fancy-Schmancy

"Is this the one you ordered, sir? Are you sure? Isn't it pretty! Here's the front label... aaaand the back label! Do you want to feel the print? It's embossed! And there's gold leaf on it!!!"

Sadly our waiter wasn't dressed quite this fruitily.
I got taken out for dinner yesterday, mm-hmmmm very nice; I actually wore a dress!!! Which is fantastically rare for me in winter - if there's one thing I hate more than draughty skirts it's TIGHTS. Nasty laddery chilly clingy things that they are. And every time we eat out (not so often, I hasten to add) I remember why I am sort of a liability in semi-swanky places:
When being fawned upon by the wine waiter I invariably find myself trying hard not to snort with laughter as I think of QVC presenters demonstrating Diamonique jewellery - much the same spokesmodel wrist action is used, whether what they're flourishing is a bottle of Chablis or a tennis bracelet (no, I have no idea what one is either) - it's the mime equivalent of "Nice, isn't it? Ooh, so pretty. Look at it from this angle. Now this one. Looooovely." - all of this while you're pretending to taste the wine, which frankly would have to be downright OFF for you to risk making the spokesmodel/sommelier cry at this point by saying No (unless you're one of those scary city-boy alpha-types who automatically rejects the wine just to show what an oenophile you are, and you betcha that's how you refer to yourself too, as well as bon viveur, you great ponce).
... Er, that was it. I had scallops with black pudding, and braised ox cheek with mash. Very nice too. And the wine was actually very good.

19 comments:

Nora Johnson said...

What I also find irritating (OK, highly amusing) about sommeliers in 'posh' restaurants is how they always stand with one hand tucked behind the back whilst pouring with the other. Quite a feat (or should that be 'feet'?) of balance. Must be something they're taught in Sommelier School. What do you think?

Such a witty post as always.

Lola:)

Lucy Fishwife said...

It's also the way they keep thrusting the label in your face while you're tasting it, as if otherwise you'd suspect them of rushing off and replacing it with some el cheapo plonky stuff...

Mwa said...

We have date night tonight!!! Only no wine for me. :-(

Nora Johnson said...

And placing the cork in the centre of the table for you to admire throughout the meal. And don't get me going about the palaver of heating a bottle of red wine over a candle! So precious!

Lola:)

PS Glad you nonetheless enjoyed the meal!

Fran Hill @ Being Miss said...

Yes, I just want to say to them, 'will you stop faffing about like a pretentious eejit and just pour the stuff?'

screamish said...

Yes- they forget that the whole point of making you taste the wine is simply to ensure that's it's not corked so you don't complain later.

there's an Italian restaurant on my street and I pass by and look into the kitchen and see them mixing up carafes of left over wine into new carafes...that's a REALLY good argument for always choosing a bottle, at least....

Lucy Fishwife said...

Mwa - mais pourqwa?

Nora - Oh yes the cork thing - like you're going to put it on your charm bracelet or something. And the only heating on a table should be if you're eating a bucket of fondue.

Fran - There's a place near us where the staff are all no-nonsense Aussies and just wave the bottle at you: "Chilean Merlot? No worries" - and that's it. SO much less faff.

Screamish - God how thrifty of them - when I used to waitress, a half-empty bottle was free drinks for the staff. No wonder our service was lousy and the place went bust.

Sgt Pepper said...

Ah, the delights of oenophilia. Easy also to lose sight of the simple fact that, unless you're prepared to splash out £25 or so on a bottle in a restaurant, the stuff you get will be of lesser quality than the £4.99 bottle you habitually chug your way through at the end of the day in front of Masterchef.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Sgt Pepper - Currently in love with a nice £5.99 Ocado red. And if Ocado/the 'tRose are selling it for £5.99 it's probably about £1 to them. And very nice. and last time we ate out it was on the winelist for £19.99. Tchuh.

mantua maker said...

The last few times we've been out dining in various restaurants in Leeds, the waiter has produced the bottle and started to pour as if for tasting, then we've noticed it's a screw-top and said "oh don't worry it's a screw-top, it'll be fine" and the waiter has given us a knowing nod as if to say "I only do the tasting thing because people expect it but you know that you don't need to do that with a screw top, and I know you know", and then we know he knows we know and a bond has been struck up, and excellent service follows.

Lucy Fishwife said...

MM - I'm a big fan of the screwtop but less because of the corked thing than because it means I don't have to poke around the kitchen for a corkscrew. How sad am I? Also you can drink half a bottle and leave the rest for later...ha ha ha.

Tessa said...

What really gets me is when they take on the duty of pouring your wine throughout the meal. I just want to tell them to piss off; I'm quite capable of pouring my own wine, thank you. (And don't get me started on the eejit with the gigantic pepper mill!)

Pudfish said...

Hi Mrs Fishwife, so glad to see a new post, and as witty as ever, in the meantime have wasted hours leching over perfumes on the divine Pefume Court website as mentioned by you, Pudfish:)

Lucy Fishwife said...

Tessa - the giant peppermill is ALWAYS exactly like a prop from a Carry On film, and I think it's illegal to use one without winking, ogling, and saying "For la bella signorina..?" as they brandish it phallically at you. (Is "phallically" a word? Should be.)

Pudfish - Sweet baby JESUS have you checked out the Etat Libre d'Orange website? SO PRETTY. SO RUDE. Plus their perfumes mostly live up to the hype!

Sgt Pepper said...

...Also you can drink half a bottle and leave the rest for later...ha ha ha.


Thought for one awful moment you were going to write 'leave the rest for another day'. Now THAT would be a Ha ha ha idea.

pilgrimchick said...

I can't remember the last time that I went out to eat in a dress--and that sounds like quite a menu.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Pilgrimchick - I can always find black pudding on a menu even if it's in tiny fine print... Yes, the dress is rare, but the restaurant is literally 200 yards from the door (result!!) so I didn't have far to teeter.

Anonymous said...

Please post again Mrs Fishwife and please tell about your latest items from Perfume Court

DAVID McGRIEVEY said...

I never wear dresses either but I would if you asked me to dinner.
Your funny.
By the way, I have met that facelift woman in the post below, her name is Jocelyn Wildenstein. I never forget a face.
X David, NYC