I’m not sure how to tell this story. I got a call Thursday from my friend Mike. Mike and his wife Patty were coming to Connecticut from Nashville. Would we like to have lunch Saturday? Uh… yeah.
There are lots of reasons to like Mike. Yes, he’s my former boss and the guy who brought me to Connecticut, but that’s not enough. America is littered with guys (and women) who used to be my boss. He’s a really good guy and, in my presence, has always done the right thing.
Mike is gregarious. He laughs spontaneously more than any person I know. I can still close my eyes and hear him cackling after I said something moderately funny on the news. He was also into computers early. I remember his (and my) mid-80s obsession with “Seven Cities of Gold” for the Commodore 64.
Finding a restaurant for Saturday lunch isn’t as easy as it sounds. I called Assaggio in Branford where I’d gone for my birthday. Nope–dinner only on Saturdays. I continued down my list.
As I was finishing my next call the phone rang back. Assaggio. “The chef will be there preparing for the evening. He insists you come,” said the voice on the other end.
OK–let’s hit pause for a second. In this life the lowest form of low is the person who says, “Don’t you know who I am?” I won’t do that. But I understand why this offer was made and that it might not be available to everyone. I get it. So, I was uncomfortable, sure… but this restaurant is so good and they were being so nice.
Our lunch was great. Unfortunately for Mike and Patty they also had dinner plans. I have no idea how they’ll do that without waddling back to Tennessee.
Rest assured–Ryan, our waiter (excellent) got somewhere between a 40 and 50 percent tip.
3 thoughts on “Saturday Lunch Isn’t Easy”
ahh old games, my favorite C64 game was “Mail Order Monsters” But i did play a lot of “7 Cities of Gold” as well.
Demanding is one thing … but taking up a gracious offer is another entirely. 🙂
A few months ago I was in Seattle and got together with a couple friends, one of whom had gotten to know the proprietor of a killin’ BBQ joint in her old neighborhood. She knew the place wasn’t usually open for lunch, but the owner had given her his cell number for a reason, so she gave him a ring to see if we might be able to stop by anyway. Sure enough, he was more than happy to have us come in — when we got there, he was waiting with slabs of ribs and bowls of beans and greens. He treated us like family, and it was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. I’ll never forget it … and I’ll always make a point to try to get there (for dinner 🙂 whenever I’m back in Seattle.
I’ve just now recovered enough from massive quantities of food to be able to type on a keyboard again. Assaggio’s was certainly an experience both in service and cuisine. Catching up with you and Helaine…did we really stay there almost three hours…made the Fall afternoon just perfect. We did indeed go to dinner just hours after saying goodbye at lunch. The Griswold Inn was our destination and unfortunately the “Gris” has seen better days since our last visit five years ago. The once bustiling restaurant was only half full on Saturday night. Thank you and Helaine again for a wonderful time and let’s do it again.