This article is about tipping. When to tip. When not to tip. And how much.
It’s also about tipping protocol in what one might call “extenuating circumstances.”
The last few times I dined out at fancy restaurants, this very subject came up.
There’s actually some debate as to how much of a tip to leave when wine is served, particularly when the bottle ordered is very expensive.
Before going into considerable detail, let’s agree on a few facts. The customary tip for service in any restaurant is somewhere between 15 to 20 percent. Perhaps a little higher, if you’re dining alone and/or received exceptional service.
But what about when you order a $50 bottle of wine? Or, a $100 bottle? Or, a $500 bottle? How much should you tip on a $1,000 bottle? And finally, what about those elite wine drinkers who order $10,000 bottles of wine? Don’t tell me the expected tip is always 20 percent across-the-board. It can’t be. Can it?
One of our favorite restaurants has opened its second Las Vegas location. Tonight was the grand opening.
Fleming’s Steakhouse, of Summerlin fame, opened up location number two on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, in Town Square.
We were among the first diners to arrive this evening and were the first to pay, which I suppose officially makes us Customer Number 1.
Part 1 — A Visit to Pittsburgh’s Famous Penn Brewery
Part 2 — Dining With the Weinstocks (Grand Concourse Restaurant)
This week, I’m visiting Pittsburgh.
This city was pretty much a hellhole a century ago. Once cloistered with gritty steel mills and coal depots, giant smokestacks barreled out a toxic blanket of blackness, gradually turning day into night, transforming any human lung within breathing distance into something that resembled a charred Brillo pad.
Today, Pittsburgh is a very different city. A much cleaner city. A city completely transformed. Virtually unrecognizable in many ways from its early heyday as a buckle on the rust belt, what once was an industrial junction of steel, coal, and railroads is now a major center for banking, medicine, and higher education.
Yet even now Pittsburgh retains a core toughness about it, rooted in the rocky cliffs towering over the city’s three rivers and picturesque downtown, capped with fresh snow in early December. It’s a city of contrasts — of tradition and innovation, of rivers and bridges, of long drives and short walks.
Pittsburgh’s also home to countless local breweries. One of the oldest is the famous Penn Brewery, perched atop a hill in the historic working-class district of Deutschtown, once the home to thousands of struggling steel mill workers which ultimately helped spark the formation and eventual power of trade unions in America.
How fucking difficult is it to make a crepe?
Well, it might as well be rocket science if you’re dining at the newest cafe-restaurant which just opened up at Tivolli Village, in Summerlin. Wanna’ guess what the name of this new place is? Try this: The Crepe.
The most outrageous thing about our lunchtime visit today was — WE NEVER GOT ANY CREPES!
Can you fucking believe it?
Maybe they should rename this place The Air. Or, The Wait. That was the full extent of our lunch. I’ll say this, it’s one helluva good place to go on a diet and lose weight. Everything on the menu is low fat. Er, make that no fat.
Here’s what happened.
Dutch food sucks.
Sorry, Holland. Beautiful country. Nice people. But the local food scene is basically one Long John Silvers after another, only with unpronouncable names.
Your food choices in Holland are pretty much limited to the following choices: Fish, fish, and more fish — and it’s all fucking fried. Just about everything you order comes with fried potatoes topped with a giant dollap of mayonaise. Yuck. After staying here a week and losing a full belt loop in an unplanned fast, I’m ready to flee the country just to get a good meal. And today that’s exactly what I did, racing towards the German border in a reverse blitzkrieg with the first authentic German restaurant as my primary target. Hey, you know the food is lousy when you’re burning rubber towards Germany to get a decent meal.