drama, dinner and scandal

sat 25 july 8:41am

i don’t know why i’m so awake this early.  i’m already dressed and ready to go to the gym!

went to see improv last night.  czechxican’s boyfriend likes to do this as a “hobby”, and homeslice and i attended, you know, in support.

this was a “herald” as they called it.  the audience screams out a topic, and they build a story based on it.  seems simple enough.  but, rather than comedy, it’s experimental drama-dy, for lack of a better explanation.  the actors were going for was “serious drama” rather than hilarious comedy. (both of which can fail miserably)

it was painful to watch at times, because it was a became embarrassing and awkward for us viewers.  at times, the three of us were huddled down in our seats, feeling the pain and awkwardness of watching a train wreck in slow motion, and knowing that there was nothing that could be done about it.

afterwards, we went to the new vineria ristorante in mint plaza, aptly named, 54Mint.  only later to find out that–gasp–it’s actually located at 16 mint plaza.

it was pretty crowded, which is understandable for a friday night at about 9:45pm.

we stand there, and the chef/owners are hangin out, schmoozing (possibly in eye-talian) with some of the bar patrons.

we check in with the hostae.  she tells us it’lll be about 10 minutes.  cool.

we retire to the bar area.

then i run into monnie.  we hug, and catch up for a second. she tells me that she just got her tooth pulled.  ouch.  there’s a downstairs wine cellar too. she’s working on the main floor. she says she’ll probably be our server. cool.

decor is cool.  light colored wood tables, lots of bright white, weird jugs of stuff on the shelves.  lots of wine bottles. various cured animals hanging from large hooks near the bar. big wheels of cheese, huge jars of different kinds of salts.

check out some photos from SFGate.

a busser of sorts asks us how long we’ve been waiting. he says he’ll get a table ready for us. it seemed a little weird. i felt like he was stealing us from the upstairs area for the downstairs.

whatever, we get sat downstairs in the wine cellar area.  it’s cool. it’s storage-slash-dining room.  i like how they don’t try to hide all their wine/dry goods storage, but rather, make it part of the decor. 

the busser-who i later find out is a “manager” seats us and starts schmoozing and blah blah blah blah by trying to perform and entertain us.

it’s one of the worst thing that a food service person can do to me.  i don’t come here to be entertained. i come here to eat. whatever.  we talk about wine and a little bit about the food.

he comes back with everyone else’s wine, and then he says something like, oh, so you’re only having water, right?  being very playful, etc. ok, no wine for you.  and then launches into descriptions of almost every single item on the menu.

meanwhile, i still don’t have my wine.

then he goes on about the olive oil and the 20year old balsamic and blah blah blah.  meanwhile, i still don’t have my wine.  i’m wondering why he’s playing so much. and then i realize he’s trying to buy time so that he can try to remember what i ordered.

another thing that i hate about food service folks.  if you don’t remember what i ordered, own up to it, rather than doing some silly song and dance to try and distract me.   and next time, use paper!

eventually our server came by and we ordered.  home slice and i shared the squid ink risotto ball and some gamberi with sea salt.  the risotto ball was actually a fried rectangle, and it was kick ass! the prawns came in their shells with the heads on.  usually i find it annoying, but this time, i found it to be very cool.  and they were delicious.  can’t remember what the other apps were at the table.  a salad and something.

next course pork belly. pretty tasty but so damn full of fat.  and also caprese salad. yummers.  there was also ravioli: light simple and very very fluffy pasta.  and pesto, but made with walnuts (?) pistachios (?) instead of pine nuts.  so it wasn’t green, it was sort of grey-ish brown.  kick ass!

dessert was chocolate something or other. rich, but very dry.  some sort of cake. and biscotti. and all the cream comes from Straus farm.

moments later, the busser/”manager” brought out a panna cotta with 20year old balsamic.  everyone was raving about how delicious the panna cotta is.  i wasn’t feeling it so much with the balsamic.

don’t get me wrong, i like balsamic. i like panna cotta. and together?  they’re…ok.  i’m not gonna have raging orgasms over it.

meanwhile, upstairs seemed like lotsa loud music and clapping and partying. i felt like we were missing out on the fun, because this busser/”manager” person stole us from upstairs.

and it took forever to get the check.

and the busser/manager kept coming back, and egging us on to drink more wine.  “come on, more wine, i’m not kidding, why not?”  meanwhile, it’s 12:45 and we’re the ONLY ones in the restaurant.    hell yeah i was ready for another drink, but it wasn’t gonna be at this place!

then he launches into another story about how he’s the “manager”, (so he claims) and the owners are drinking a lot tonight, and sorry for the long wait for a table, and some people waited for an hour, and i’ve pretty much lived at this place for for the last 3months, and i there was a server here who got fired, but then she showed up and blah blah blah blah.  STFU already, buddy.

eventually we got the check, but it took another 10 minutes for them to pick it up, and run the credit cards. this made a very long meal even longer.

overall, the food is solid, simple, clean.  and i enjoyed it. i’ll have to try it again.

on the way home, i ran into jacko.  he told me that Hell just got fired from the Restaurant.  stfu!  i’m surprised because i never thought it’d happen.  and i’m also not surprised, because he was a suck-ass manager.

i told him i just came from 54mint and i saw monnie.  he thought she didn’t work there anymore because he got a txt from her the other day asking if he knew about any jobs.  i told him that yeah, she was working, i just saw her. then me and homeslice realized that when busser/”manager” guy was talking about one of the servers who got fired, but came back, he was probably talking about monnie.



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