Going Out to Dinner

I think I’m about to get a table at a restaurant at which I’ve wanted to eat dinner for a long time.  It’s a really (REALLY) exclusive restaurant, and from what I’ve read, their entire staff is beyond top-notch, their food is best-in-class, and you’re basically guaranteed an awesomely excellent dinner that will make you happy.

How exclusive is this place?  Prospective diners actually have to go through a screening process to be granted a table.  One has to interview with the maitre d’, a couple of the waitstaff, and finally with the chef and owner.  I started this process about a year ago, to be honest.  I’ve had the first couple of rounds, and they all went favorably.  I had to pause, because my wife had some health challenges at the start of this year, and we only got the medical all-clear in June to continue.  I mean, there’s simply no way to enjoy one of the country’s best dinners when sick, uncomfortable, and worried.

So I resumed talks with this restaurant last month, and I’m down to just the final interview with the owner and chef.  Assuming that goes well, I’ll be allowed to take my place at the table, and my whole family can benefit from the amazing meal that they will provide me.

And that last interview is a doozy.  I have three days’ notice, and I have to fly from Florida to Chicago, interview for 90 minutes and give a 10-minute presentation on why my family deserves to have a table at this restaurant, and then fly back home to Florida.  It’s going to be an 18-hour day for me — I’ll be leaving the house at something like 5:00 a.m. and getting home after midnight, and wearing a suit the whole time.

But, while it’s daunting, it’s also exciting — moreso exciting — and I know that I can do it.  My flight is booked.  I need to buy a new suit as I’ve outgrown all of mine, and new shoes.  But on Monday I’ll be at their headquarters, 1,200 miles from home, bright and shiny and ready to impress.

Yes, I really want a meal from this restaurant.

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