4.02.2015

Fine Dining is Fun and Funny

Over the weekend MJ took me on a surprise date.  That morning he said we're going somewhere nice and we're leaving at 4:45pm.  I waited promptly until 4:25pm to rush around and get ready.  I'm really low maintenance like that.  We'd spent most of the day doing fun things like cleaning the windows (him) and vacuuming floors (me).  The weather was gorgeous though and demanding to be enjoyed so I was glad to get out of the house.

I knew something was up when he washed a load of dress shirts and reached for his dress shoes instead of flip flops or chucks.  He is not a dressing up guy and rarely does it even if I beg so I was really wondering where we were going that would cause him to go to such lengths.  When we showed up at Bertrand at Mr. A's it all made sense.  They have a dress code.  Button ups required and no open toed shoes are ever permitted so he really had no choice in the matter.  It's kind of an interesting set up because it's on the top floor of an office building.  You don't feel like you are going to a restaurant until the elevator doors open at the top. 
They don't call it fine dining for nothing.  From the minute you walk in they treat you like kind of a big deal.  We were greeted politely and led to our table by a man in a suite and tie who held the door open for us, pulled out my chair and laid the cloth napkin in my lap.  Being the country bumpkin that I am I didn't realize what he was doing until he said, "For your lap."   Once seated our waitress rattled off a long list of specials half of which I could not remember once she walked away.  I was impressed that she can even say half the words most of which I had no idea what they were let alone recite it all from memory.  She brought us our wine selection and poured just a little bit in MJ's glass before patiently stepping back and waiting for him to taste it and give his approval.  I'm curious to know if you are really allowed to say no.  Can you say you don't like it and would like to try a different bottle.  Then, what if you don't like that one?  Is it just a formality to pretend you have a choice when in reality all bottles will end up on your tab anyway? I am happy with $2 wine from Walmart so there is no chance I'll ever reject a $30 something bottle of wine.  I don't know how these things work.    
At a nice restaurant you are the star and servers stalk you, but in a good way.  They are most definitely watching you even if you can't see them doing it.  You don't even get a chance to pour your second glass of wine before they are doing it for you and there is no begging for more bread.  It just shows up.  One person seated us, another took our order, another brought us our entree's and yet another refilled our water glasses never letting it go below half.  They are an army ready to leap into service so that the minute you look like you might need something they are right there.  The only way to make them stop is to stop eating or drinking but you won't do that since that's what you came for.  They were so attentive that I don't even feel bad when our waitress offered to take our picture.  Twice, because the sun was causing too much back light the first time.  You don't have to give up your first born to get a dessert menu or the check either.  They don't rush you, and yet when you are ready to wrap it up it's right there and the service is definitely reflected in the cost of your steak. 

The food was good too.  It better be right?  I got filet Mignon and MJ went for half filet and half short rib.  Our dessert was like a giant Twix bar but better.  Sitting outside was AMAZING.  The weather was perfect for it and I actually felt kind of bad for the people sitting inside because they were really missing out on the weather and the view because they don't put pull up the sunshades on the giant wall of windows inside until after the sun sets.

Fine dining is funny.  There is always that awkward moment where the amount of times your water glass has been refilled borders on embarrassing and someone is picking up the garnish that fell off your entree plate and scraping your crumbs off the table with their fingers where you kind of feel weird that someone is serving you so astutely.  It's also fun though because it's nice to be catered to and get the star treatment every now and then.  I'm just a little bit of a restaurant snob.  My Applebee's days are done.  I need some ambiance when I dine out.  The VIP five star treatment is not a necessity but it sure is nice every now and then.  Thanks to the husband for such a sweet date. Neither one of us had ever been there before and now I want to go back sometime to experience it at night. 

10 comments :

LaToya LouisvilleSlugger said...

It sounds like a wonderful experience. Kudos to your husband, I'm glad you guys had a great time.

That Blue House said...

Now that we are doing better financially, we definitely partake in fine dining a bit more often. It's still a special occasion type of deal, but it's nice to do for a fun evening out. You just can't compare the good service and good food. I like being pampered. How sweet of your hubby to surprise you like that! Were you guys celebrating anything?

Faith said...

Ahhh, this sounds like a great experience. That's what service is all about!

And how sweet of MJ to surprise you like that! :)

Tami said...

That view from your table is unbelievable! You're so right about it being so over the top with the scraping of the crumbs off the table. I had to laugh at that. But it's nice to experience the "finer things" in life every once in a while.

Alyssa Guttendorf said...

Ah this is so great!! Mister A's has been on my list of restaurants to check out for years now, definitely more of a special occasion place :) Thank you for the solid review! I will be forcing my bf to take me there sooner than later now.

Ameena said...

I'm pretty easy-going when it comes to eating out but sometimes I really do appreciate the complexity of fine dining. It puts me on my best behavior (I don't always place the napkin in my lap!).

Looks like a beautiful place!

Law_Fal said...

Looks like a super and special date night treat! I love nice restaurants like this :)

Ashley R said...

Those photo of you two are my favorite. This looks so romantic- what a sweet gesture!

Susannah said...

Ooo... Sounds like quite the date! I'm glad you guys got to be pampered a bit! <3

Janna Renee said...

Aww...what a lovely view and how romantic! You guys are seriously too cute. I love being taken care of at a fine dining restaurant, and we don't go out often so I love going to nice, exciting places over chains too. We don't have many nice places around here, but we make do!

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