Friday, March 30, 2007

A Couple of Decent Reds, Spring Break, Mats and a "Bad Regular"

Well I survived, barely, spring break. It freakin' poured every day but we survived thanks to ScienceWorld, the Aquarium and a "Craft Day" at Anna's house.

Daughter is back in school now and I should have blogged earlier this week but tragedy befell me, I have taken on the responsibility of "Interim Wine Director" which has meant a week of scrambling to make sense of the previous paperwork system, install "Par Stock" levels, contact agents etc. - this is a temporary situation until we find a sommelier but it has still cut into my slacking off ...... oops I mean blogging time.

Tasted a couple of decent value red wines this week - Valdevieso Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from Chile , #412841, $11.99 - widely available and Robertson Winery Shiraz 2005 from South Africa, #586149, $11.99 - widely available.

Both these wines are "new world" in style with fruit being more prominent than tannin or acidity, but both are well made and enjoyable. I can easily recommend either of these wines as we move forward into "Grilling Season".

As the NHL season grinds to a close I am in wonder at my beloved Leafs. This is team is more schizo than any bad girlfriend imaginable, capable of beating New Jersey and Buffalo within a 5 day span but also losing to Washington, blowing a 3 goal third period lead in another contest against Buffalo and being worse in shoot-outs than a decent Bantam A squad. What is particularly strange is that they are hanging in the race without any appreciable cobtribution from their Captain, and spiritual leader, Mats Sundin - with 5 games remaining and needing to take 9 out of 10 possible points (by my reckoning) it is time for #13 to "put the biscuit in the basket" a few times.

As a last thought I have a truly bizarre situation brewing at the restaurant, I have cultivated a "bad regular". This gentleman visits Vancouver on business about once a month and never fails to bring a table into the restaurant when he is in town. The man is courteous, spends well, orders well and always requests my section when booking his table, the problem is he tips 10%, which after tip-out leaves me with less than 5%. On Wednesday I saw his name in the book and did every thing in my power to avoid him but he specifically requested me so I was stuck. The scenario played out as I expected, easy to serve $342 tab for 4 people ,,,,,,,,,,,,, and a $35 tip with lots of "Thanks, it was great" as they left.

Any suggestions on how to correct this problem would be greatly appreciated, and please don't suggest poisoning or flatulence , there are some lines I will not cross.

On a sad ending note a comrade in arms fell this past weekend, a waiter I knew from 25 years ago died of a massive coronary at the age of 57. far too young. We were not close and did not socialize but it made me sad ...... there will be better days and when the memorial is held we'll raise a glass to Barney.

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