Posts Tagged tip
This time of year, every night out on the town feels a little extra special. It’s Christmas time in NYC, and what better time to take advantage of all the city has to offer for date night.
Recently, I was approached by HowAboutWe, a subscription service designed specifically for couples, to try out their services. I’d heard the name before, but I had no idea what it was I was being offered. I went online to investigate further, and I was blown away by the opportunity before me. HowAboutWe had the direct line to some of the best dates out there. As I dove deeper into the site, I discovered that each month, CK and I would receive a new “DateBook” — filled with pre-planned, one-of-a-kind experiences here in NYC. These weren’t just ordinary dates — Broadway shows, dinner for two, cooking classes, driving experiences… The list went on and on. And, that’s just December.
For our first HowAboutWe date, CK and I chose “In Due Course,” including a four-course dinner for two at celebrity chef Todd English’s restaurant Olives at the W in Union Square. The date was purely magical. CK and I sat down at a very cozy table for two in the corner. Our every need was attended to by the amazing wait staff who brought us a delectable meal consisting of 2 glasses of Prosecco, a crab toast appetizer, Rabbit Tagliatelle, 2 glasses of wine, Branzino A La Plancha, and the coup de grâce — Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake. Everything we ate and drank was spectacular. And, HowAboutWe took care of everything from the reservation all the way down to the tax and tip on our bill. It was utterly seamless.
At $22/month, HowAboutWe for Couples membership gets you so much: FREE HowAboutWe Dates — every month, sold-out tickets and members-only events, early booking on HowAboutWe Dates, up to 75% off other HowAboutWe Dates, and rewards (like buy one get one free tickets on Fandango). I challenge you to find a deal better than that! I for one will continue to go back to HowAboutWe time and time again for amazing dates and opportunities.
It’s tough balancing the working and dating worlds. Anytime someone can take a little bit of the work out of either, I’m all in! They get how busy I am. That’s why most dates are flexible and can be scheduled whenever I decide, except however, some are one-time-only scheduled events, like performances or special excursions. But, who wouldn’t rearrange their schedule for those experiences!?
On top of that, this isn’t marriage— No big scary commitment. You can pause or cancel at any time. And, dates on HowAboutWe for Couples can also be purchased as a non-Member, without the Member discount and other benefits of course.
I highly encourage you to at the very least check it out by clicking the logo here. TRUST ME! You won’t regret it!Follow @onegayatatime
After a mediocre day at the beach, CK and I made our way back to Hoboken for dinner. I had a Groupon to use up, so we decided to head to 1Republik. Earlier in the week, we were turned away from the place because we were wearing shorts and flip-flops. This time, we knew better.
When we got in the door, I searched for the hostess. I couldn’t find her. There were plenty of staffers milling about, but no one was offering to help us. Finally, I went over to one girl, who was heavily distracted and flirting with one of the big bouncer dudes, and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind assisting us in finding a table. She looked around for the hostess with an annoyed expression on her face before taking down CK’s number so she could text us when a table was ready.
In the meantime, we grabbed a stool by the bar and ordered beers. We were nearly finished our beers when his phone started vibrating. We weren’t ten yards from the front of the bar where the girl took our number, so we quickly walked back over there. She was nowhere to be found. After another five minutes passed, she walked past me. I asked her about our table, and she looked at me with the most confused look on her face. She told me someone else was responsible for tables. When I explained to her that she took down CK’s number and we just received a text, she finally agreed to get us a table. I couldn’t believe the incompetence already.
We got a table right by the front door, but at this point we didn’t care. We were hungry, and we wanted to eat. Naturally, it took a solid ten minutes before someone came to wait on us. When I explained to her I had a Groupon, she pointed out to me it had expired. When I told her that Groupons don’t expire, she took my phone to her manager to show her my digital certificate. Five minutes later, she came back with my phone and told me the manager agreed to honor the Groupon. Because two beers were included she took our beer order and was off. After some time, she came back with our beers, and before I could tell her our order, she was off again. This was the last we would see of her for quite some time. When another ten minutes passed by, I grabbed another waitress and asked her if we could order with her. I explained everything, and it turns out she was the manager as well. She was responsible for the laxed staff aimlessly wandering the restaurant. She agreed to take my order, and from then on, we were on our own.
I knew this was a bar/club at night as well as a restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting fine dining. However, we weren’t expecting the music to be so loud we would have to shout across the table. After some time, we realized it would be easier to text each other. I was laughing hysterically at how bad this date was turning out already. While we waited for our food, a bus boy came by and took my beer away. Granted there wasn’t much left, but I still wasn’t done with it. I just laughed more and more. I felt like we were living a sitcom.
Just when it couldn’t have gotten worse, some of our food arrived. You would think the first thing to arrive would be our salad. It was, but it was also accompanied by our dessert, apple pie a-la-mode. CK and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. I started in on dessert because the ice cream was going to melt. He was much more traditional and wanted to start with the salad. We weren’t two spoon/forkfuls in when our steaks arrived. At this point, we didn’t even have room on the table for all our food. We had to start piling food on the table next to us. Just then, as a girl was leaving the bar, she placed her empty bottle on our table. Again, we both looked at each other and began cracking up. How could this possibly get any worse.
Just then, our original waitress returned, but not to wait on us. She got a new table with fat men stuffed into the corner next to us. One had he chair pushed basically up against our table. I texted CK, “Don’t be rude! Offer Cletus some food!” The waitress passed by our table without saying a word. We were getting quite full, and couldn’t eat anymore. I was tempted to ask for a container to take some of the leftovers home, but I didn’t want to spend any more time at the place. CK texted asking what we do about tip, and I told him we leave nothing. We had no waitress and no one waited on us and our meal all came at the same time. If anything, they should have been offering us another free meal, let alone expecting any sort of tip.
When we were finished, we picked up and left without a word. I had never been served so poorly in any restaurant. It was ridiculous. The only redeeming quality was that we got an awesome story to retell. This was textbook poor hospitality.
Some friends were drinking at my local watering hole, so I proposed to CK grabbing a drink on the walk home. He wasn’t feeling it, so we walked straight home and hopped in bed for the night.
Had I been at that restaurant with anyone else, I would have gone insane. The fact that he was so cool about everything really made me fall in love with him even more. We took lemons and made lemonade. There is no one with whom I’d rather be sippin’ on lemonade than CK.Follow @onegayatatime
Smiles and I spent the better portion of our Tuesday evening trekking out to Brooklyn so he could basically say hello to his photographer friend who was showing his photographs at a local bar. I spent a majority of the night as a decorative ornament while Smiles went about his evening.
When we came above ground near Union Square, I pulled out my phone to check showtimes. We planned the evening very poorly because the movie wasn’t being shown in Union Square. Smiles suggested we check out some of the other theaters in the city, but I could tell he wasn’t all that into it. I didn’t even like the movie all that much. He’d mentioned the desire to see it the last time we were in Brooklyn. I took the time to get caught up so we could go see it together.
When it was looking nearly impossible to see the film, he suggested we just grab dinner instead of running all over the city. I was a little p*ssed. There was little reason we couldn’t go back to Hoboken and catch the late screening and not even have to pay for it, but I felt that suggestion would fall on deaf ears. He didn’t want to run all over the city after he drug me out to Brooklyn and back — How considerate of him.
Just then, we happened upon Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. He asked if I was interested in trying there. I’d never been and heard people rave about it, so I agreed to make that our plans for the evening. At least all wasn’t lost.
There was a wait, so we grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. We stood over the should of a couple while I joked about the absurdity of their cheese plate. It was enough to feed one mouse, let alone two people share it. I am not one to scoff at refined tastes and classy things. I appreciate them greaty. But, when it comes to things like that, I have to chuckle a little. Smiles wasn’t appreciating my sentiment.
We finally got a table and sat to decide what to order. I knew before we walked in this was going to be a very expensive dinner, but it was Babbo. It wasn’t an everyday restaurant. We decided to share two appetizers. One of them was beets — his suggestion. I’m am quite a foodie, but there are a lot of things I’ve never sampled. Beets was one of them. I told him this, and he was shocked. He asked if I was okay with it, and I told him I was feeling very adventurous. We ordered the beets and the octopus per the waiters suggestion.
When the waiter asked what we’d like for our main course, I decided to continue my adventurous streak. I ordered the rabbit. I’d never had it, and if there was a restaurant to try it, Babbo was it.
Our appetizer arrived, and I was quite pleased with both. The octopus was excellent, and the beet salad had great flavor. I wasn’t in a drinking mood that night, so I was fine nursing the wine I’d had at the bar, but Smiles ordered a second drink and insisted I do the same.
When our entrees arrived, I was quite happy with my order. It was the perfect portion size and quite tasty — not very different from chicken. My compliments to the chef. The side we ordered to share, which I still am not quite sure what it is, resembled broccoli rabe when it arrived. I knew I wasn’t going to like it when I saw it, but I tried it anyway.
Throughout dinner, Smiles detailed for me all his future aspirations. He had a lot going on and was continuously trying to expand his empire. I didn’t necessarily disagree with a single one of his plans. I did, however, disagree with the timing of them. It just seemed like an overly ambitious timeline.
I’m a very opinionated person. When someone presents me with an idea I don’t agree with, I generally speak my mind. In situations as these with Smiles, I censored myself only slightly. I wasn’t being my true self and giving my hard opinion regardless. I was simply playing devil’s advocate to help him come to the realization some of his ideas were unrealistic.
This was the first night we kinda went back-n-forth on the subject. I was giving my realist opinion. He seemed slightly agitated, and I began to wonder if he was just looking for me to blindly support him.
That’s not who I am, so I wasn’t about to start doing that, but I also thought I could tone it down a bit. I didn’t need to rain on his parade every time he got overly ambitious. I was going to make an effort to be much more choosey in my words going forward.
We paid our bill and collected our coats from coat-check. Smiles was generous to tip for both of us. We walked into the street and began to head towards the PATH. I took the opportunity to hook my arm into his. I’m not sure he appreciated it, but after the night I had with him, I was taking it. Whether he liked it or not.
There were times periodically I felt he was against PDA. However, I began to feel it wasn’t PDA after a while. I started to wonder if it was PDA with me. I wondered if he didn’t want other people to see him tied down to me. They may get the idea we’re together, and who would want that? Tonight, I didn’t care. I was taking his arm.
When we got to our typical midpoint, our goodbye was exceptionally unceremonious. I barely got a kiss, and he was off in the cold of the night.Follow @onegayatatime