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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are Restaurant Patrons Actually Guests? Or Do Chefs Serve at Our Pleasure?

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Do diners at The Slanted Door, say, have a right to demand what goes on with the staff? - MATTAPICTURES/FLICKR
  • mattapictures/Flickr
  • Do diners at The Slanted Door, say, have a right to demand what goes on with the staff?
Our favorite morsel from the blogs.

86ed: At Diner's Journal today, the New York Times' Ron Lieber describes his Saturday night at a TriBeCa eatery, Restaurant Marc Forgione, from which he got his ass booted. The chef, Larry Forgione's son Marc, was going off all Gordon Ramsay on a server ― top-of-the-lungs screaming, in Lieber's narrative. The dining room went uncomfortably quiet, save for the shouting. Lieber walked straight to the kitchen and told the chef to

STFU; Forgione returned to Lieber's table and told him to pack it up and get the hell out.

Later by phone, Forgione told Lieber he was only trying to make the dining experience better for customers, by chastising a server for some lapse. Lieber has some nagging regrets ― he thinks he was a bit smartassy:

I could have handled myself better. But my comments hardly rose to the level of disturbance or nastiness that Mr. Forgione displayed. He now says that he was aware of the problem and was planning on making it up later to everyone within earshot by comping dessert and whatnot, even before I invaded his space. Still, I'm not sorry I spoke up, and Mr. Forgione wasn't interested in apologizing to me either.

Who's right here? When you sit down at a restaurant, are you entering a chef's private space, where it's rude to scold him for behavior you think is straight-up boorish? Or is he there to make you comfortable?

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