Sunday was my 38th birthday and it was fabulous. I spent the morning skiing (OK, maybe it was fabulous starting AFTER the 3rd run down the hill when I regained my balance–it has been a year). The afternoon was spent helping friends who joined us get settled in and the evening was…well, it went like this:
We got the kids situated with sitters and set out for Vail. We walked around the town for awhile stopping in some of my favorite shops. These are the kind of shops you can spend an evening just looking because the prices would evoke heart failure. I had made reservations several weeks ago at a very popular Vail restaurant and we headed that direction when the time came. We were seated in a cozy booth and mulled over the menu. It was then that I noticed that they had “Turbot” on the menu. This was amusing because last week I had come across that word for the first time and blog-Stedman had looked it up on Wikipedia to pacify my curiosity. According to Wikipedia, turbot is a desired white fish and is pronounced “turbit”. Wikipedia also mentioned that many people assume it is a French word and pronounce it “turbo”, but that is really not the case and the French actually pronounce it “turbit”. We related this story to our friends because we thought it was funny that we are so crazy that we actually looked up this word. When the waiter came back to take our order, one of our dinner companions asked how the “turbit” was prepared. The waiter patiently answered his question and pronounced it back in a corrected sort of way “turbo”. This caused peals of laughter across the table. The waiter then asked if there was an inside joke and I explained we were crazy and had looked the word up on Wikipedia recently and that it was pronounced “turbit”. The waiter handled it really well and made a little joke that the chef called it “turbo” which meant he called it “turbo”. We continued to order. I went ahead an ordered the turbot, 2 at the table ordered beef and the other ordered a lamb dish. Soon our salads came and we started enjoying them. It was then that we realized that they hadn’t taken our drink orders and we started looking for our waiter. He seemed very occupied with relating his ski adventures to fellow waiters and didn’t make eye-contact. Our table was right by the kitchen and right in front of the computer where all the orders were entered so it became pretty obvious that we were being ignored. Finally, we grabbed him and got something other than ice water to drink. Then we sat and sat and sat. An hour went by and we still hadn’t seen our entrees. We tried to ask, but were still being ignored. Finally, the food came and instead of what we ordered we ended up with 2 turbot orders, one beef and one lamb. We sent the second turbot order back. The problem at this point is that we just waited over an hour for them to cook our food so any replacement beef would arrive well after everyone at the table was finished so we decided to just share what we have and make the best of it. Several waitstaff came by to offer replacement beef, but we just were sharing. The waiter came by and apologized stating that it was his fault. The manager came by and tried to make things right, but really at this point we were just eating and they had done enough. He later came back to offer dessert and coffee which we took him up on. My dessert had a candle in it and a “happy birthday” written in chocolate which was very nice. Throughout the dinner we had been laughing and talking and having a great time. The turbot mix-up was handled in good mood at our table, but we had mentioned to the manager that it had taken them over an hour to bring the wrong order to us and our waiter had spent the evening ignoring us. In the end, the manager sent us on our way without a bill…any bill. That was surprising, but honestly probably the right thing to do. It was a situation where none of us would have ever returned to the restaurant without this gesture. So the question of the night is…was the turbot the root of all our angst?