Sunday, January 20, 2008

Monkey Shines

Attended the official celebration of the West Side Beauty's birthday Saturday night. We started the evening with an ill-fated dinner at Monkey Bar. Intrigued as we were by the coat-check guy's boast of a $3 million renovation in the dining room, we were still hard-pressed to get service at the almost empty bar. But it was a night of celebration! We let it slide when we finally received our wine, traditional martinis and lychee martinis. The West Side Beauty (with two friends in tow - one real and one imaginary), the Little Nolita Lady, and another newcomer to our girlie foursome - Ms K 2 U - all toasted with The Boy and I.

Later, we were shown into the cavernous - and empty - dining room. Sometimes when a restaurant isn't busy, you are lucky enough to get that extra bit of care and attention that makes an evening memorable. This was not one of those nights. While the food was good, it was promoted as "family style." The only way that food could have been conceived as family style is if you defined family as a couple of thumbless vegetarians. Seriously, I could have shoveled through the majority of the plates myself and only been mildly full. As it was, we ordered 3 appetizers and 4 entrees for 6 people, that left me dreaming wistfully about the delicate bouquet of a sidewalk cart hotdog.

We waited about 25 minutes for our appetizers, and about the same time for our entrees. (This was what made us begin to wonder if there honestly were monkeys in the back slinging hash for this joint.) Honestly, the service was so lacking and the food so small I just wanted to leave. So when the dessert menu came, we decided to skip it. (Note: even though there were only 2 or 3 other tables in the restaurant, they didn't have enough dessert menus for the six of us at our table. I was denied a menu of my own because it was "dirty". Hmmm.

So we decided just to pay the check.

Silly silly people.

The Boy and Ms K 2 U pored over the check and figured out the per person total. Six credit cards were offered, and the waiter and our credit cards disappeared behind the red curtain. We waited. We waited. We cracked jokes and waited some more. FINALLY the waiter reappeared.

He handed out each of the credit card receipts to be signed, and disappeared again. So we all went about signing our reciepts with the 2 pens. We had finished up and were gathering our belongings to leave when the waiter comes back and says, "Thanks and have a lovely evening. OH BY THE WAY, there is $97 that still remains unpaid on your bill." Wha?

Apparently we had inadvertently missed the bar tab on the bill. The imbecile (was he a monkey in a man suit? Perhaps.) didn't have the wherewithall to inform us of our error before he ran all of our credit cards or prior to all of us signing the receipts.

We were so pissed, whoever had cash just threw it in the pile, just so we could get out of there!

Monkey bar, indeed! The whole place is a zoo.

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