Chris and I were both out of town this weekend. He in the Hamptons and I in the City with my bestie from home who was wedding dress shopping :)
We met at Grand Central this afternoon and took the 3:07 train back to the burbs. The weather was perfect today. We arrived to our sweet little home around 4PM, chatted with our neighbors and Chris did a little yard work.
Not having much to throw together for dinner and kind of wanting to try something other than The Beach House-one of the 3 or 4 restaurants walking distance from us. We called a cab and decided to try something new in Stamford. I had heard that a Bar Taco was opening up soon! The one in Port Chester gets RAVE reviews and a marg sounded GREAT! Well, it hasn't opened. So we decided to try Barcelona! We'd also heard great things about this resto.
Being a gorge night, we opted to wait the half hour for a table outside. We sat at the bar, had a round of blood orange margaritas, some croquettes, and a couple of empanadas. All delish.
A table becomes available just as the live music is starting and we are ushered to the patio.
This is where it all went down hill...
We were not greeted within the first ten minutes of sitting down. Huge no no. Then the server said he couldn't take our order until he found the signed check from the previous table he had lost.
I finally ask for a taste of a crisp dry white and I am sent a sip of flat champagne. The server knew NOTHING about wine or the menu.
Chris' glass of rose came with about 15 ice cubes floating on top. Seriously?? When sent back, they simply poured the wine into another glass and returned it to the table messy and with a strange something floating at the bottom. He returned it AGAIN, at this point just asking for a simple glass of red wine. This never came....
I ask about another white listed and the server says to me something about this particular wine tasting a lot like Spain and it's definitely one of his favorites on the menu. What does that mean? Tastes like Spain?
He takes our dinner order. Five minutes later he returns, "Do you have any questions about the menu?" Chris and I glance at each other, confused. Um, no buddy. We already ordered, remember? You should have already taken these menus out of our way.
The table next to us has asked for bread twice now. We receive bread and offer it to them as we did NOT ask for any. We begin to chat and they tell us that bottles of wine are half off on Sundays. That's a fun fact I would have liked to have been aware of. Oh, and what happened to the specials? Why didn't we hear those?
We still have no wine. Chris's patience is beginning to fade. Same couple notices our frustration, agrees that our service has been extremely poor and starts doling out restaurant recommendations. They ask where we live. I tell them we just moved from Manhattan and I believe our expectations are a bit high ;) She giggles and agrees with me saying, "ahhh, I see, yeah, you're expectations are too high"
Still no wine. Chris wants to leave. I insist he speak with a manager first. And we do. The manager is super nice and apologetic. We tell him, it's just an off night and of course we will be back another time. And we mean it. But it just wasn't the night for us.
In the city if such were to go awry we'd just pop into the next cute spot and have dinner. Instead, we call Yousef, the taxi driver to come pick us up and take us home. We stopped at ReNapoli close to home to get a pizza and then walk home. I see this on the menu:
I get sad, lose my appetite, opt out of dinner all together....and then I cry.
Chris laughs and calls me dramatic and jokes about how one night and one server should not be arousing such a reaction. But for me, it wasn't necessarily about the terrible service or the fact that we couldn't just walk to an amazing restaurant and pop in or even the fact that on our walk home it was completely dark on the streets and there was no one else cruising around.
It just kind of hit me. Right there.
We're not in New York anymore. We moved. We live in CONNECTICUT. We're officially Yankees. We own a house. We have to mow the yard. We're ADULTS. We can't stay out till 2AM. Not that I want to, but the option would be nice. It's really dark here at night. Everyone has kids and dogs. We don't have a car. OR a dog. Or a kid. The restaurants are not the same. Our expectations are too high. We're spoiled.
(I also realized, that I need to open a mexi joint AND a cheese shop on Sound Beach Ave. Oh, and I should totally be a restaurant consultant.)
Chris continues to poke fun at my ridiculous tears as I continue to assure him that it's not because of one bad dining experience, I'm just a little emotional. We laugh if off and then open a good red wine at home and Chris thoroughly enjoys his slice from our little pizza place on Sound Beach..