Thursday, December 20, 2007

So Much for the Ravioli!

Today was our holiday party lunch with our work group. Although the company is huge, we're broken down into smaller subsets and divisions. Our subset (about 30 of us) booked a lovely Italian restaurant near our office for this event. We're talking white linen tablecloths, the whole 9 yards. It's not often the company springs for something like this, so we were all pretty excited for it.

Our reservation was for noon. It was close enough to walk, but it being a bit drizzly and cooler than 60 degrees, I caught a ride with the Ed. We arrived, had the valet park the car (ooh la la!) and entered the restaurant where we proceeded to stand around for awhile. Eventually we were all seated...


Okay, so that wasn't too big a deal. They had those freestanding heater things, and I was toasty enough to forgo my jacket. But then it got colder. We asked one of the waiters to turn the heater up a bit. HE TURNED IT OFF. Back into my jacket I went, all the while my sinuses were beginning to tickle like crazy from the fresh roses and juniper sprigs (really, they were beautiful) on our table.

The waiters served some wine and brought bread. The bread stayed warm for all of 1 minute out there in the cold. No problem, it's only bread. Soon we'd order lunch and have our tummies filled with a nice salad, steaming hot pasta and the like. 45 minutes after bringing the bread, someone finally took our order. 45 minutes after taking our order, 1 waiter brought out our food 1 dish at a time.

One of my pet peeves--you other CFers probably hate this too--is that the fancier the restaurant, the smaller the portions.

I had ordered ravioli parmesana. My plate had 6 ravioli in a dish. No garnish, no side, just 6 limp ravioli the color of masking tape. It tasted okay for the first bite or so. I was trying so hard not to just inhale my food. I could have stuffed it all in my mouth at once and swallowed it without so much as chewing. I did my best to be lady-like and took small bites. I was ready to wash it all down with some water when I realized that the 3 ounces they'd given me with the bread had already been consumed. Oh well. So much for that. They were great about bringing the wine though, but I just couldn't bring myself to drink during work hours. Besides, my stomach was still so empty that I was sure my BAC would spike and I'd get pulled over faster than Lindsay Lohan can say "happy hour!"

My tummy now having been teased with those wimpy ravioli, I was getting hungrier by the minute. I snagged some bread from another table and tried to consume it as discretely as possible. Despite repeated requests, the heater had not been turned back on, and my nose decided to start a steady trickle. You know how it is...first you're stuffy on one side, then the other. I blew through the 4 tissues in my pocket and was desperate for more. I excused myself to the restroom where I promptly took a long drink from the water in the sink. I thought to myself I hope this isn't one of those places that uses the toilet to tap reclaimed water.

Ducking into the handicapped stall in the corner, I unwound as much toilet paper as I could to stuff into my pants pocket. Then I figured what the heck, might as well go for I unhooked the whole roll and shoved it into my jacket pocket. For the rest of the meal I had a steady supply of "tissues" that kept coming from my pocket. I bet I looked like I was doing a magic trick of some sort. Behold, the endless hankies!

Back at the table, people were leaving. We still hadn't received our dessert, not the mention the salads that were supposed to come with our meals. To top it all off, the restaurant would only validate our parking for a period of 2 hours. We had been there almost 3.

Cold, sniffling and still empty tummied, I returned to work only to throw up.

So much for the ravioli.

Well I guess you won't be going back there... what a bummer!
Man I would have to be making a call to the manager and the owner... that sucks!!! Have a Merry Christmas!
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