You obviously don’t have a freaking clue what kind of fish to order at a restaurant. And because of your blatant ignorance, I am the one who has to suffer from your lack of knowledge about seafood.
On Saturday night, we dined out at Buzio’s. That’s the seafood restaurant at the Rio. Buzio’s is consistently both good and affordable. I’ve dined at Buzio’s perhaps 200 times within the past ten years. Yes, that’s — two-hundred.
The primary reason why I eat at Buzio’s so much is — it’s the closest good restaurant to where the World Series of Poker takes place. It’s within walking distance of the tournament area. So, when I’m working on property nearly 50 days each summer, many of those dinner breaks are spent at Buzio’s, often with close friends and people I haven’t seen in a long while. Moreover, the dinner break is the highlight of my day.
But nothing screams “what the fuck!” louder than the scene I witnessed last week here in Las Vegas. Sitting atop the glass counter above all kinds of expensive gold and diamond jewelry was — a tip jar. I shit you not.
Located west of The Strip on Sahara Blvd., The Golden Steer is Las Vegas’ quintessential old-world steakhouse. First opened in 1958, it was the regular hangout for members of the famed Rat Pack. Frank, Sammy, Dean, and their pals even had their own plush red-leather booth near the front entrance (which still remains the most requested table in the house).
As expected, the background music inside the dining room was exclusively from the mid-1950’s. The set list included popular tunes we’ve all heard countless times before on hundreds of occasions. Old-fashioned steakhouses, traditional Italian restaurants, and other upscale venues catering to older clientele (with money) usually pipe in a steady stream of these old standards as house background music, even though the legends who first performed the songs are long gone. A cynic might say these are songs by dead people for the dying.
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?