The Waiter Who Said “No”

Scene: Da Silvano’s Restaurant, Greenwich Village

Action: The waiter sets down the plate of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil that we ordered.

Mom: “Excuse me, but can we get some balsamic vinegar with that please?”

Waiter: “No, madam. This mozzarella is too fresh—it would be a crime to hide that freshness with vinegar.”

Stunned silence.

Me: “Mom, let’s just eat it this way.”

Mom: “Ok, fine.”

Dad (after the waiter leaves): “I’ve never heard a waiter say ‘no’ before like that.”

SCENE.

8 comments

  1. I understand that an answer like that can be off putting, but I have to congratulate the waiter from stopping you killing a perfectly fine caprese salad.

    What about the mozzarella, did it taste good?

  2. I once asked a waiter if they could cook a seared tuna steak a little longer (I asked when ordering it, not once I got it) because he said it was a thick piece, and I don’t really like chewing on thick slabs of totally uncooked fish. I like my raw fish in tiny bites.

    Anyway, the waiter laughed and said, “No, that would ruin the fish!” But I didn’t even want it cooked all the way through! Just a little more than seared!

    I mostly felt embarrassed and like the waiter was insulting my tastes and going back to the kitchen to laugh at me as if I’d just asked for A1 sauce to put on filet mignon.

    Oh, well. I ordered the chicken instead, and it was boring, and I never went back. So there, mean waiter!

  3. In Italy, the waiters will refuse any request for cheese to go on a dish containing seafood. Quite haughtily, I may add.

  4. i have to agree with DaWaiter on this one — I’ve been to DaSilvano, and the mozz *is* just that good. of course, he could’ve tried a compromise and brought a little dipping dish of balsamic…but then the slippery slope would lead all the way down to indulging every Sally Albright who wants the tonnato on her vitello “on the side,” right? so what did your mom think of the virgin mozz, anyway?? :)

  5. He didn’t have to say no so abruptly. He could just as easily said, “Yes, madam, but it’s not recommended because it destroys the wonderful flavor of the mozzarella,” or something like that.

  6. ew… caprese salad is gross. i’ve only had it once (albeit with bad boccocini cheese). on the other note that was pretty rude of your waiter. though in his defense i’ve had some weird request in adventures in fine dining (although that request is nowhere near out of line and your mom is so fabulous i’d never turn her request down). i’ve had someone request a steak knife for chicken and i hate when ppl pile on the pepper when you stop after one grind. would you like some soup with that pepper? the biggest issue is the duck. duck is usually best rare or medium rare and ruther than that is “faux pas” but to many it’s just a personal taste. ppl usually look @ me funny when i ask them how they’d like their duck done. my response, which i think is completely fair is, “duck is usually suggest to be cooked rare or medium rare but it’s up to your preference.” they usually respond by saying, “whatever you think’s best” or they tell you to cook it the way they want.

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