Happy New Year to all! I hope you had a fun, safe and slightly drunken evening!
Ben and I were determined to make our NYE an event, despite our "limitations" (i.e. me). We had reservations at a fantastic new (to us) restaurant, I had a dress that still fit over my belly and made me look cute pregnant instead of obscenely large, and I spent the afternoon napping -- my insurance that I WOULD make it to midnight so Ben didn't have to ring it in alone.
We made it to the restaurant with a few minutes to spare before our reservations at 8 p.m., to ensure we were seated quickly. When we walked in, the charming hostess smiled at us, took our name and told us (very nicely) "Do you mind having a seat in the bar for a few minutes? We are running slightly behind". Ben and I were quick to assure her that of course we didn't mind sitting at the bar until our table was ready. We took a seat and Ben had a glass of wine while I sipped water and enjoyed the live jazz piano.
After about 15 minutes, I started to get a little antsy because, lets face it, eating is like breathing to me, and dinner at 8 was already pushing it. The bar was quickly filling with people and with a quick glance around the restaurant, you could tell no one was even close to leaving. At 8:20, Ben went to check with the hostess.
She offered to seat us ON THE PATIO. Ben came back seething (after having told the hostess that NO, we had reservations for inside and we were NOT sitting on the patio in 50 degree weather), and we went another 20 minutes without a table. Ben turns to me with his big brown eyes, and begs me to "USE THE BELLY". I'd almost forgotten the great power of the pregnant. I shucked my coat, stuck out Baby E as far as she would go and waddled through the now EXTREMELY crowded bar to the hostess stand.
I asked very sweetly how long it would be until a table was ready. With hands resting on TOP of my belly so she couldn't miss it, I let her know I was starting to feel slightly ill and just wanted to know if we would get a table soon or if we needed to leave due to my "fragile" condition. The hard hearted, evil hostess just looked at me, and I saw in her stone, cold, dead eyes that we were goners. "I remember your husband. We don't have a seat ready yet -- it should be soon," I implored how soon and she again gave me the dead-eye and told me "soon."
She gave me the willies. I left meekly, defeated and fairly certain the hostess had no soul.
Soon, the bar got even more crowded with the folks who were arriving for their 9 p.m. reservations. We start to make friends in the group, bonding together over our shared angst. At this point on NYE, we didn't even have a chance to go anywhere else for dinner. We were effectively stuck, unless we wanted Whoppers from a drive through.
Up until this point, Ben and I had insisted that we have a good attitude about the whole thing. We were being given lemons, and damn it if I didn't want to squeeze out some sweet, New Year's Eve lemonade. We talked, laughed, listened to the live music and generally enjoyed each other, so the evening wasn't a complete bust. However, I was getting to the point that I couldn't even pretend I was enjoying myself, and I was nearing tears when we saw a table open up. Ben grabbed my arm and we went up to the hostess stand, ready to demand it as our own. She bubbled with enthusiasm that YES! That WAS our table!! I wanted to hit her in the face, but instead just plopped into the chair and began begging with my eyes for a bread basket from any employee who walked by.
Long story short, the food was great, the service TERRIBLE, and we got no apology, no discount, no NOTHING for our 1 hour and 20 minute wait to get a table that we had a reservation for. But Ben and I made the best out of it, and honestly had a really good time -- and because of the wait, ended up not making it home until 11:30, which ensured I was awake by the time the ball dropped at midnight. Happy New Year's!
(P.S. if you are a Dallasite, the restaurant is Hector's on Henderson. Next time you are there, tell Hector for me that his hostess is a big meanie. That should fix her.)