Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bottega Blunder

I'm totally a BloggingWhore today (no Mom, I don't mean it in that way).

It's just that I've already posted once for today and I'm posting AGAIN...twice in one day. Heck, I might even post another one tonight!

Last night's Birthday dinner was at a favorite restaurant- Bottega. There's a history here with a story that's likely more amusing to me and the witnesses present; it's probably one of those where "you just had to be there" for it to have any effect. So read-on if you like, or click-on if you don't.


Four years ago...2004

Fresh out of college, I was fortunate enough to instantly bond with a phenomenal group of girls and we started our very own Supper Club (SC). The four of us were a tight group of friends who rotated dinner party hostessing- at the time we'd meet even once a week- although today there are three of us and we meet about once a month. We often cook a la casa, but would occasionally go out to dinner as well.

Let's see, in 2004 I was single, a little boy crazy, and feeling a little sassy (ha! I suppose it's not too much unlike 2008...).


In Birmingham, we have Culinary Chef and Mastermind Frank Stitt. His genius is shared with us locals through 3 restaurants:

1. Highlands Bar & Grill, 5-Star restaurant (which has been nationally praised on numerous occasions including a feature article in the NY Times)
2. Bottega, Mediterranean/Italian in an Art Deco style
3. Chez Fonfon, trendy and slightly more laid-back, French

I'm a patron of two of these venues...not blue-blood-enough to set foot in Highlands.

Bottega has just been a more casual place and serves this phenomenal Chicken Scaloppine dish that is to-die-for! So, us Supper Club gals frequented Stitt's restaurant #2.


This particular meal, there were only three of us in Supper Club (SC) that could make Lunch. But we were at a great, happening restaurant as young professionals facing a brave new world (or city at least). I was loving this new phase of life!

To begin with, I self-parked my car only to have the Valet Attendant scout me out at the restaurant. In an embarrassing scene (remember I'm a Birmingham-neophyte at a trendy place) he scolded me, in front of my friends and surrounding hip patrons, that only Bottega customers were allowed to park their cars in this particular lot.
Uh-huh...I see.
I suppose maybe he just wasn't thinking about me sitting down to lunch at the exact venue where he was parking cars.
He is forgiven. May have been on medication? Actually to think of it, he probably shouldn't have driven my car anyway... But at this point, I was so humiliated that I surrendered the car keys of my already-parked-car to appease him.

Back to the story:
Despite the slightly-shaken meal start, we had a lovely lunch with the as-always-wonderful Bottega food. I still drool thinking about Chicken Scaloppine!

And did I mention that our Server was HOT?
It was in a sweet, boyish sort of way. Tall with dark curly hair and a flirty look. Big smile, a friendly, mellow demeanor. Charming, gentle, and loving----evidently these were all things that I conjected from his looks alone. Have you caught on yet that I don't always have the gift of discernment?

Did I mention that one of my SC Gals knew said Hot Server?
He was actually her brother's good friend (and I think former roommate???)

So you can probably write the rest of this tale:
What does single, new-to-the-town, boy-crazy, sassy-feeling, already-humiliated-but-not-gonna-let-that-that-get-me-down, little 'ole me do?

Yeah, I definitely left my phone number when I signed that meal check.
Confident, Bold, and Daring. An excellent start for my new life in Birmingham.

Hot Server was supposed to see the new fabulousness of me too. He'd call me up to ask me on a date...right?

And he never did.

Actually something worse happened. Through my SC Gal's brother, Hot Server relayed the message that "I'm just not really looking to date anyone right now. But that was nice of her to do that."


It was kind of him to respond, but at this point, I'd officially been downgraded to: Delusional, Arrogant, AND Desperate.


Would I do it again? Actually, yeah. Just because it was kind of fun and risky and new. The true lesson learned here wasn't one of regret but of humility- to Laugh at the silliness of my self-parking faux-pas; and to Laugh at the goofiness of essentially asking a guy out and getting turned down; to Laugh at myself. I'm just not all that and a bag of chips!


Four years later, for my 27th Birthday Dinner last night. Guess who waited on our table? Yep, HOT SERVER.

Still adorable and dreamy.

Still has that thoughtful, boyish charm.

Still working as a server at Bottega.

It's a good thing to laugh at myself, the situation, and yet think of doing it all over again... Still.

No Regrets.


Mrs. Grizzle said...

hahaha, you crack me up. You know until I read in your blog that there were only 3 SC'ers there I had totally forgotten that I was not even a part of this story. I guess I had heard it and talked about it so many times that in my head I had inserted myself right in there. Still a good laugh though!

Amanda said...

ohhh sooo sorry Chickie- you were absolutely there in spirit. remember, we lit a candle for you =)

you would have at least remembered the valet incident...devastating!