Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Snappy Service

S and I had dinner last night. He's in town for a design expo and we met at an open studio in Williamsburg. Afterward, we walked across the street to the Sweetwater something, a charming little bar/restaurant on Sixth. A middle-aged French guy with an expensively scruffy haircut led us to a row of three two-tops set snugly in the back of the room, more of a table for six with narrow gaps to help you lose silverware. The end tables were occupied, so S had to slither in to take his center seat against the wall. Good thing he's an exercise nut; an average American would have gotten stuck like Winnie the Pooh in Rabbit's hole.

As he shimmied between the tables and our new neighbors watched in fear, I remarked to the man seating us, "This is cozy. Do I need a condom to sit down?"

He smiled and hissed, "Maybe next time you'll reserve the whole restaurant."


I wanted to respond in kind but realized we were already in danger of food-borne reprisals. I nearly said, "OK, that's it, let's go," but it would have taken the Jaws of Life to get S back out again, so I just smiled back and sat down and hoped for the best. We didn't see him again. In any event, the dish our server recommended (John Dory in a tomato-basil reduction) was so good I didn't care about anything else.

The design shops on Sixth are full of really thought-provoking eye candy right now and worth a visit if you have the time or interest.

Post-script: High school pal A, a longtime Brooklynite, notes the "French" host is not French; he is from Argentina. That makes sense, because Buenos Aires is "the Paris of South America," which sounds like a ridiculous cliché until you're there and then the similarities are obvious. It is also the psychiatry and plastic surgery capital of South America, and its famously snotty residents are known unaffectionately as "Porteños." It all seems very French from where I sit.

No comments: