As a non-drinker who is about to marry someone who loves her wine, I love this story! I love this story because whenever we go out, I'm usually the one who orders her wine for her and when I do, I usually follow my order up with another question, which doesn't happen in this particular story. Here's what happened:
So, a Joe Lentini went out for dinner with a few friends at Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City last week. For those who have been to this restaurant, you know that it's one of the better steakhouses in AC next to Morton's and The Palm. Anyway, Lentini, who admits he's no wine expert, asked the waitress to recommend a wine to pair with his party's dinner.
Lentini said, "I asked the waitress if she could recommend something decent because I don't have experience with wine. She pointed to a bottle on the menu. I didn't have my glasses on. I asked how much and she said, 'Thirty-seven fifty." Lentini thinking that "thirty-seven fifty" was a good price for the wine, accepted the recommendation without even asking if she meant $37.50 and just assuming that was the price she quoted. Well, it turns out that the bottle of wine was a Screaming Eagle, Oakville, 2011, which cost $3,750. Lentini and his two fellow diners almost fell off of their chairs when their bill came. Luckily they were able to get the restaurant to agree to a discounted price of $2,200 for the wine, which is obviously still a ridiculous amount of money for a bottle of wine.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, who reached out to the Borgata for their side of the story, this is what they had to say: "As the leading culinary destination in this region, we consistently serve many, if not more high-end wine and spirits without incident. In this isolated case, both the server and sommlier verified the bottle requested with the patron." Yeah, but when you tell someone "thirty-seven fifty", it's only natural to think $37.50 before you think $3,750. It was kind of presumptuous for the waitress to assumed that the patron can afford that kind of wine. I think they are both at fault. Lentini should have asked, "Do you mean $37.50?" I also think the waitress should have been more specific than saying "thirty-seven fifty" and told him it was a three thousand dollar bottle of wine. This way he could have ordered something a little bit more in his price range.
Unfortunately, it looks like Lentini will come home down on this trip to AC, but let this be a lesson to anyone ordering wine to always make sure of the price before you go ahead and order. Can you imagine that Lentini didn't have the money to pay for the wine? That would have been a whole other story. Or better yet, how about the fact that the wine cost twice the amount that the actual dinner cost? Now, that is just ridiculous! And they say that they're crying poverty in Atlantic City?