I read Frank Bruni's hilarious piece on the weird things people do in fancy-pants restaurants, and, ever since, I've been trying to compile my own list of the way-out-of-the-ordinary or downright aberrant behavior I have witnessed at white-tablecloth spots.
I am coming up empty. I have missed out. I've never seen anyone having sex or stripping or offering gratis caviar to tables. And damn it, I feel deprived. I think it would be fun to witness some shenanigans at Daniel or Per Se or the French Laundry or Alinea or Le Bec Fin. I long to watch three attractive women strip down to their panties and take a dip in the pool at the Four Seasons. In fact, that floor show might make up for the overpriced, less than stellar food I probably would have just finished eating.
So here's my Five Point Plan, my new approach, to eating in fancy-pants restaurants, designed to maximize my viewing pleasure.
- I'm not going to focus so much on my food. Food, schmood—there are spectacles to behold. If people are going to make fools of themselves, I cannot be swooning over the pork belly at Daniel.
- I'm going to start making 10 p.m. reservations. Don't you think you have a better chance of seeing out of control behavior at midnight instead of six? I bet you don't see anything interesting or salacious while eating early-bird specials. I haven't, and I do tend to eat early.
- I'm going to ask the maître'd and my server when I'm seated if there's any table or person in the restaurant I should keep my eye on. I figure the people doing weird shit are regulars who feel comfortable enough to do whatever they please. They practically consider themselves members of the restaurant "family."
- The sommelier and the bartender (if there is one) must know everyone's potential for mayhem, since they're the keepers of the spirits. I figure $10 each should pave the way for a heads-up.
- Make frequent trips to the bathroom. That's apparently where the action is. Maybe I should even ask to be seated near the bathroom.
What spectacles have you witnessed in fancy-pants restaurants? Are there any other tactics I should employ in my effort to get more bang for my buck at white-tablecloth restaurants?