“thanks for the bread”

Continuing in our grand tradition of “enjoying” restaurants out of our comfort zone, I present to you our experience at Joey’s Pasta house in Penfield, NY.  My wife and I do not go out as often as we like since it requires coordination of a baby sitter, our schedules, a decent night to dine, perhaps a show, etc.  This often puts a substantial amount of pressure on the evening when it arrives.  This is not entirely fair to anyone involved but if you have kids and have to get a sitter because you don’t live near your parents or relatives, you probably understand.  (In fact, even if your parents are around, you still probably understand.)  That means that wherever we go, we’d better not be disappointed.

I’ve shared before some harrowing experiences at local establishments with initials in the name.  Perhaps I need to expand that to just names in the name.  A friend of ours suggested we try a place called Joey’s Pasta house in Penfield.  It has become a very busy restaurant known for its homemade pastas and sauces.  My wife made a reservation early in the week, we got a sitter and everything rolled along smoothly.  We arrived ten minutes early and were seated right away.  There were water glasses already poured, a dish with olive oil, a tomato/olive mix and garlic butter was sitting there and soon after we were seated a basket of bread arrived.  All was good.

We opened the menu, looked over a few things and wondered where the wine list was and how good that might be.  We watched our neighbor table, about two feet away from us, receive their entrees.  I closed my menu, having made my decision and we started on the bread.  We watched people moving around us, the hostess, who’s station was on the other side of the window from my wife (they could have communicated very well with hand signals), moved around sitting people, arranging the schedule, etc.  Each of us had two pieces of bread, sipped some water, looked at the menu again, and watched our neighbor table’s server return to offer them boxes for their entrees. 

Notice anything missing?  No one, not one person ever stopped by our table to greet us, offer us drinks, take our order, or really do anything other than drop off a basket of bread.  I looked at my watch, 25 minutes from sitting down we stood up, took our coats and walked past the hostess on our way out.  My wife very kindly said, “thanks for the bread”.  The hostess turned to me as I walked past and said, “what happened?”  I looked at her and said very plainly, “nothing, that’s the problem.  We’ve been here longer than 20 minutes and no one has taken our order for anything.  Thank you.”  She offered an “I’m sorry…” as we walked away.

The place was busy, the bread was tasty, the water was water, and we really enjoyed our dinner, at Lento.


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