Three-Top

Three-Top

Glass glasses clink; meat sizzles and steams, hot; ceramic plates slide across stainless steel expediting shelves with a scratching woosh; pans bang and crash into thick black plastic tubs; a knife chops quickly; the low rumble of conversation intermittently overshadows the shouts and commands streaming out of the kitchen when servers and busboys swing the door open wide to either retrieve an order or return dirty dishware. Seated at a table at the end of the bar —nearest the kitchen— the three can experience it all. Butter, garlic, brewed coffee, warm bread, black pepper, tray after tray, full of food and beverage, pass by one after the other in an endless stream. They have yet to see their server. A young Latino boy arrives at their table; without a word, he flips then fills each water glass and promptly walks away. Distracted by the general chaos surrounding the location of their table, none seem too concerned with the menu.

“Do you even know what’s good to eat here?” the male of the bunch finally asks after watching a dozen various food items leave the kitchen. The younger of the two females shrugs and picks up a menu, “Looks like classic Spanish tapas, some pastas and meaty entrees.” “This is a Spanish restaurant,” the male states aloud while lifting and perusing the menu himself. “You think we could get a different table?” the older of the two females whispers while covering her mouth with her menu. “Why?” the other two simultaneously wonder, curious, brows furrowed, eyes focused on their respective menus. “Well, it’s a bit noisy and crowded over here.” “Really?” the other female asks as if challenging the observation. The three look around the restaurant and gauge their situation. “It’s a crowded restaurant. There are no spacious seats,” the male determines. “Yes, well this table makes me feel like I’m seated in the slums, so close to the kitchen door, so far away from the hubbub and overall atmosphere.” “I hate sitting in the middle of any restaurant,” the youngest of the two females dismisses. “Maybe I’ll just ask our server if he … or she ever gets over here.” The male rolls his eyes a bit, “Just decide what you want to eat. Even if we move, you’ll still have to order.” “Fine,” the older of the two females concedes. “I don’t want to move,” the younger one states with eyes still glued to the menu in her hands.

The warm glow of candlelight, the starched and crisp white linen, heavy, embellished flatware, slick leather dyed a deep rich maroon stretched over the seat cushions and chair backs, cold brass tacks holding the tight leather in place, a black linen napkin sits on the lap of the male and the older of the females, a white linen napkin atop the younger of the two. Ice clanks at the sides of the water goblet as the older of the two females takes a sip. The younger of the two sighs, “Well, now we’re definitely not moving tables.” “Why not?” “You just used your water glass.” “Ugh.” “Just enjoy the view, Lace,” the male attempts to persuade; “We’ve got a great view of the city from here.” “Switch me seats.” “Are you serious?” “Yea, then my back’ll be to the restaurant, and I can stare out the window and forget that I’m not famous or rich enough to be given the best treatment in restaurants.” “Give it a rest,” the younger female scolds. “Fine. I”ll switch, but only so you can wallow and have a horrible, downer experience stuck inside that ungrateful head of yours.” “Fine.” “Fine.” Once the two stand and begin to rearrange the seating arrangement, a young Asian female approaches the table.

Dressed in black slacks, a white button down, a tie that reminds of an 80s Miami Vice vibe, black clogs and a full-length, starched white apron, the server introduces herself, “Hello, I’m Fea. I’ll be your server tonight. So sorry about the wait.” Turning her attention to the two still fidgeting into their new seats, “Is everything alright with your table?” Before Lace can complain, the younger of the two speaks up, “Yes! Everything is fine. It’s great! What a great view?” “Definitely,” Fea smiles as she refills the one, half-empty water glass. “Can I take your drink order?” “Oh sure,” Lace begins, annoyed; “I’ll have a glass of your house Chardonnay.” “Me as well,” the younger of the two females chimes in. “Okay, may I suggest a bottle if the two of you are each going to drink more than one glass? Also, I need to see some ID.” “Seriously?” “Yes, sorry, new policy. Also, the two of you look fairly young.” “Why thank you,” Lace smiles, cheering up a bit. Fea examines the females’ IDs. “Okay, great, and how about that bottle?” “Oh, right, sure, we might as well,” the younger of the two shrugs. “And for you, Sir?” He rummages at the butt of his pants, retrieves his wallet and presents his ID, “What’d you have on tap?” “Chimay, Fat Tire, Stella, Guinness, Sam Adams …” “Chimay, please.” “Great, I’ll be right back with some bread.” “Thank you,” the three thank in sync but not simultaneously.