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Dinner tonight is at Venecia, the Italian restaurant. To me, this is a restaurant where you can really dress up. Tonight I wear one of my rental dresses (search “Rent the Runway” for more info on that), an Herve Leger. These are insanely expensive dresses that I couldn’t hope to ever actually buy. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to spend that much on a dress that I’ll only wear a handful of times. The dress looks great (can I say that?), but it is heavy!
We see Fernando outside of the restaurant and he tells me that his daughter really loves the toy I gave her, and he gives me a big hug. Score!
We are seated and water is poured. We order some wine.
The restaurant is almost full, and our waiter seems very busy. I order one of the salads, but request no anchovies. When it is brought it has none of the promised artichokes, but it does have some kind of fish, which I think are the anchovies, that I asked not to have. It’s odd, but the waiter tells me they are not anchovies, and I forget to ask what happened to the artichokes. The salad is fine though. I just really like artichokes.
Zung gets the Cesar salad with chicken. It sounds like it should be a lunch entree.
Our entrees take a very long time. They bring my entree and the risotto that we always share, well before they bring Zung’s entree. The risotto tastes weird. This is a favorite dish, but it just doesn’t taste good this time. It tastes smoky and cheesy. They finally bring Zung’s shrimp, which he says is not as good as it usually is. My lamb is good.
Service is not very good, but it is not our waiter’s fault. He is just stretched too thin. Our wine and water glasses are not refilled. Trust me, I can forgive a lot if you keep my wine glass filled. They usually don’t leave the wine bottle on the table, either, or I would have been happy to refill our glasses myself.
This is a perfect example of why it is more important for good service that only the number of tables that can be properly taken care of should be seated, as opposed to filling all the tables. People complain that they can’t get a reservation at the restaurant where they want and when they walk by, it has empty tables. It is not about the number of tables! It is about the number of staff!
We order fruit for dessert, but it takes a ridiculously long time for it to be brought out, so we just get up and leave. We go to the Lobby Bar and not long after, Claudia (one of the chefs who goes around checking how things are and making omelettes in the morning, she usually does the cooking class as well) comes to us and asks what was wrong. We tell her all the things that were not right with our dinner. She asks where we are eating tomorrow night and says she will make sure a fruit plate is prepared for our dinner tomorrow.
This is my 22nd visit to the Grand. If you do the math, that is a lot of meals. Occasionally, something is bound to go wrong, with food, with service and sometimes, with everything. It is not the end of the world. There will be another dinner and it will probably be fine. I just don’t get too worked up about these things. The only thing that really bothers me is indifferent poor service. That had not been the case tonight. Our waiter was doing the best he could.
The Lobby Bar is quiet tonight. Except for Daniel. He’s always rowdy.
We chat with Valerie and George for a bit. I love her dress!
We have a few drinks. When we leave we see Victor, as we are leaving. Always love seeing Victor.
We go back to the room, and crash. Vacationing is exhausting!