Monday, June 12, 2006

Good service

Recently I gave a cooking demo in Philadelphia, and one of the guests present told the following story: she and a few friends were on their way to a New York jaunt, for dinner at Levana, followed by a concert at nearby Lincoln Center. The traffic turned into a complete gridlock, and their SUV, carrying eight passengers, looked like it was never going to make it on time. One of them called Levana Restaurant and explained their predicament. What would happen to their reservations, and how would they make it on time to Lincoln Center? The restaurant's manager suggested they place their order on the phone, and assured them it would be ready by the time they arrived. And it was!
Except there was no time for dessert. No problem, he said again. He suggested they place their order now and find their desserts ready on their way out of the concert. And they were!
Levana Restaurant is the scene of many of these "crimes", and it was wonderful for this owner to hear the story told in such a flattering way!

I have a story to add to that. My friend’s children wanted to surprise their parents on their wedding anniversary. They secretly ordered a limo and were trying to find a fancy restaurant. However, the family is Lubavitch and only eats meat from a certain Shita.

The son who co-coordinated the dinner outing for the parents, called Levana and pre paid everything and insured that they would be served 'David Elliot' chicken.

This was the 1st time the parents who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary were on a date. For the next few days my friend couldn’t stop talking about how fancy the restaurant was and how delicious everything was. The staff were kind enough to give them 9 cookies to go for the 9 kids who were anxiously waiting to hear all about their date.
How adorable is that? Cookies for the ones who were not invited?
But: first date in 25 years of marriage, Gosh this is not OK! I have a wonderful friend getting married in just a couple weeks, and I shared a very simple secret with her: Some years ago, but not nearly as early on as we should have, my husband and I instituted a very holy and virtually inviolable rule: one evening a week belongs to us, and to us alone. Never mind what we use it for, even a walk or a cup of coffee or a movie; nothing fancy. Only no cell phone, not a word about bills, leaks, viruses, shots, strep, homework. The greatest idea we ever had. We still do it, after 30 years ago, and enjoy it as much as in our early days. You go, Bubbie and Zaydi!
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