Tonight I met Craig's mom and sister for the first time (they're visiting from Washington State) at one of my favorite restaurants, Prune. The reservation was for 8:30 and Craig and I arrived at 8 to have drinks at the bar. When Craig's mom and sister arrived (at exactly 8:30, perfectly prompt) the hostess told us that it'd just be a few minutes longer. We weren't seated until almost 9.
But guess what?
We didn't care!
They were so nice about it. The hostess took our coats, our bookbags (mine was especially heavy because I just got my manuscript back from my editor with line edits!) and then helped make room for us at the bar. The bartender was incredibly sweet, recommending house specialty drinks (a Bourbon sidecar for me, a Bourbon sour for Craig.) It was fun watching Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune's inspiring chef, flit about the kitchen and survey every dish before it went out. She runs her restaurant with warm authority: she's in command of her ship and everyone is to be glad to be aboard. Which is why, probably, that waiting an extra 30 minutes didn't seem to matter. We were enjoying ourselves and felt well cared for. And that, to me, is the nature of good service.