On the way to Porter House last night, more on that in a minute, and we stopped into Borders. I should preface this with the fact that my dinner date, on loan, brought me his copy of Heat to read, also on loan. You know Heat, the Buford book about Buford training/trailing Batali who trained with notorious bad-boy White? Well, last night, at the exact moment we were stopping for a pre-dinner book shop was the exact moment a Food-in was happening with the Triumvirate of Culinary Bad Boys; Bourdain, Batali, and a very subdued White. We stayed for a moment, as our dinner ressie was waiting, but just long enough to hear Batali’s talk about what is a great resto experience for him. (This is paraphrased from memory and with Shari’s help; everyone was there last night):
-When I walk in they greet me with hello. They don't need to know me by my name; they're just happy to see me.
-They give me a nice table, I don’t care where, a table’s a table. It doesn't matter if it's by the bussing station, near the kitchen, up front, by a vent, or any of the other million excuses people use at my restaurants; who cares, I'm happy with whatever table I get.
-I tell the waiter I’m gonna have a good time and I want the waiter to have a good time too. I like to declare that I'm going to have a good time.
-I ask them what’s the best thing they make, then I order it. I like the waiter to guide me through the meal. That's why they're there. Let them do their job.
-I enjoy my meal.
-And I tip very well. Very, very well! (Big laugh).
And this is almost exactly what happened when we stepped into Porter House .