Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dining at table zero in Bamboo (East Hampton, NY)

Last night my wife and I decided to celebrate our move with dinner at Bamboo, one of our favorite sushi restaurants in the Hamptons. It's dark and has a funky atmosphere, loud but has great food and service.

Our adventure started earlier in the day when we called for a reservation for 8 pm. No problem.

We arrived on time, even a bit early, and were promptly seated at table zero. Not wanting to be prejudiced about a table with no real number, I went along for the ride. Maybe if they said table 13 we'd be in trouble.

The first comment from my wife was that we had the worst table in the restaurant because we were next to a side door, near the bar, below a flat panel tv, and practically in front of one of the kitchen entries. I responded that it wasn't that bad because we were off from the other tables which meant we weren't dining on top of another table.

We ordered our appetizers, entrees, and drinks (great blood orange margaritas) and proceeded to enjoy our evening out. Our drinks and appetizer arrived quickly and we enjoyed them. We finished our appetizer around 8:30.

Then we waited, and waited.

9 pm our waiter stops by and apologizes for the wait and tells us our sushi will be out soon.

9:20 pm I flag down the waiter and let him know we'll take the check because we are done waiting.

What I left out was during this time the place started to get busy which then meant we had people standing on top of us and people slipping by so we were constantly ducking towards the wall to avoid Fendi bags from taking out an eye or knocking our drinks off the table.

The waiter was apologetic and told us he would give us a a discount for the wait to which we responded that if it was any longer it didn't matter.

9:30 pm the sushi arrives. We then proceeded to eat quickly to escape the herd of people around our table. Sushi was passable - ever since the head chef Pat Fromm left it seems to have gone downhill.

As we walked out, through the convenient side door, we ran into another waiter who was screaming and berating a couple of older women who apparently stiffed him on the tip. That was quite the scene. We both felt bad for him because it clearly had to do with not enough kitchen staff. We tipped our waiter and with the 25% discount it was a wash.

Key take-aways:

1. Never sit at table zero in Bamboo (or maybe any restaurant)

2. Our waiter needs to learn how to set expectations. If we had known that it would take so long we might have ordered a miso soup or something else.

3. Don't take out your pain on the wait staff if it's not their fault.

Choice quotes from the irate waiter in the parking lot:

1. "I don't even think your a doctor, little miss doctor."

2. "It's all going to come back to you sweetheart"

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