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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Restaurant Reviews | 11 comments

Thirty-Two Things You Should Know Before Inviting Me to Dinner




In the coming months, I expect to get flooded with dinner invitations.

Everyone who is anyone is in Las Vegas during June and July, and that means I’m in heavy demand.

Sadly, I can’t gratify everyone by accepting every invite.  Many of you reading this will be forced to seek out alternative ways to entertain and amuse themselves.  You poor things.  Sorry, but I generally attend just one dinner engagement nightly.  That is, unless you’re picking up the check and my wine selection is priced at $200 or higher.  Another helpful hint:  The fancier the restaurant and more expensive my wine, the longer you’ll get to enjoy my company.

As a public service, I wish to make sure everyone has an opportunity to engage my charms.  Accordingly, I’m hereby posting a few preconditions in order to join you for dinner.

Here are 10 15 20 25 30 32 things you should know before inviting me to dinner.  This list is subject to expansion, so check back for updates.  Note the following:

(1)  When issuing your invite be sure to include the following — name of the restaurant, guest list, and who’s paying.

(2)  No surprise guests.  I don’t want to play guessing games or worry about who might pop in unexpectedly.  There’s always a chance your surprise guest is someone I owe money to, which makes me feel uncomfortable.

(3)  Pick a restaurant that serves real food I can eat and enjoy.  The more traditional and old-world style, the better.  Think classic New Orleans and/or fancy steakhouses and you’re probably in the right vicinity.

(4)  Note that I fucking despise nouveau cuisine.  I want to eat my food, not study it for its artistic qualities.  That pretty much strikes off every restaurant at The Cosmopolitan (unless Steven McLoughlin is joining us — I call this “the McLoughlin exception”).

(5)  No sushi under any conditions whatsoever.  If you select a sushi restaurant, strike me at once from consideration (unless you toss in an appearance fee — my starting rate is $600 per hour, not including sexual favors).

(6)  Seat me at a table where my feet touch the floor at all times.  I do not under any conditions sit at high tops or on bar stools (unless I have money on a ballgame and that’s the best TV seat in the house).

(7)  Seat me next to the most interesting people in the group.  This includes, but is not limited to the following — writers, artists, musicians, sports gamblers, world travelers, restaurant and movie critics, some celebrities (screen with me first), and nymphomaniacs.

(8)  Do not sit me around anyone who starts off a conversation with, “So what do you do for a living?”

(9)  Do not under any circumstances seat me around anyone who works in sales.

(10)  Do not sit me next to children.  This is not only an automatic rejection, but grounds for an instant walk out.  Children are incapable of understanding most of the things I’ll be talking about at the dinner table.

(11)  Do not sit an infant at my table, or any adjacent table.  Note:  Use the “single-table separation” rule.  There must be at least one table (preferably occupied so as to drown out ambient baby noise and/or strange odors) between me and any infant present.

(12)  If an infant starts crying, address this problem IMMEDIATELY.  Remove problem child from the premises or duct tape it.  No exceptions!

(13)  Do not park me next to some ass plug that talks about poker hands all night.

(14)  Poker bad beat stories are grounds for an immediate storm out and abandonment.  Take notice of this when inviting guests and making the seating chart.

(15)  The following subjects are acceptable for dinner conversation at my table — casino gambling, sports betting, The Republic of Turkey, World War II, politics, religion, progressive politics, Sen. Bernie Sanders, travel stories, classical music, movies, acts of torture, airport experiences (bonus points for nightmare TSA stories), wild sexual experiences (I must screen the person telling the story first).

(16)  The following subjects are unacceptable for dinner conversation — your health problems, your financial problems, your relationship issues, your job (unless it’s really interesting), Adam Sandler movies, guns, hunting and fishing, poker tournament reflections (unless you won and the score was over six figures), Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, anything to do with any of the Kardashians-Paris Hilton-Lindsey Lohan-Jennifer Lopez-Brit Spears, etc.

(17)  Three topics totally off limits because I don’t understand them — math, science, and computers.

(18)  Do not interrupt me in conversation.  If you wish to raise a point or extend a sidebar conversation, calmly lift your pointer finger as if to lock up the next portion of the conversation once I’m finished.

(19)  Merlot is not wine.  It’s grape juice.

(20)  Make certain my waiter is at least 30+ years old.  Waiters under the age of 30 lack the proper experience to be able to make solid recommendations or assess the quality of various entrees.  How does a 26-year-old waiter know what to recommend for me?

(21)  Do not touch my food or drink without expressed permission.  Ever.

(22)  I do not share.  So, if your idea of dining out is “family style,” invite Chad Holloway, instead.

(23)  Let me control what’s poured into my glass.  If I’m not reaching for the bottle, it might be that your wine sucks and I simply don’t want to embarrass you by pointing this out to all the other guests.  I try to be considerate of other peoples’ ignorance.

(24)  Make certain there’s real butter on the table and it’s within arm’s length (no margarine or bullshit butter with the added flavors).

(25)  Hand me the breadbasket first before the others have a chance to pilfer the contents.  That way I can get the freshest roll and the rest of the table can argue over the scraps.

(26)  If ice cream is served, it must be porn-star “hard.”  Think a stick of butter coming right out of the refrigerator, and that’s how I like the texture of my ice cream.  Soft ice cream gets sent back INSTANTLY.  I FUCKING CAN’T STAND SOFT ICE CREAM!

(27)  No spray whipped cream allowed (call the restaurant in advance — if they use Redi-Whip then you’ve probably made a bad choice).

(28)  Crumb scrapers annoy me.  If I drop a few crumbs on the table while I’m talking with my hands, let them sit there.  You can clean the table after I leave.

(29)  Cell phone use is prohibited while at my table, unless it’s an emergency or we are checking game scores.

(30)  When coffee and desert are served, request the check immediately.  And then pay it.  Ten minutes later, I don’t want to waste time sitting at an empty table, wondering if the water is ever going to return.  By then, the dinner conversation’s probably pretty much been exhausted.

(31)  Leave at least a 20 percent tip, and also take care of the key people.  I don’t want it circulating around town that I was part of a dinner party that fucked over the staff.  Revenge can be brutal.

(32)  If you ask me how the dinner was, expect a straight answer.  I don’t bullshit people.


(33)  Keep all animal stories under two minutes.  Limit yourself to one animal story about your dog or cat.  However, this rule does not apply to me because my pets really are smart and adorable.


Okay, so that’s it.

Starting May 10th, I’ll begin accepting applications for dinner invites.  E-mail your dinner requests directly to:

Note:  If you’re offering an appearance fee, be sure and flag it on the subject line. 



  1. So sorry I screwed up number 19 Nolan. 🙁

  2. How bought we just order up some pancakes and maybe grap a cup of joe at the Golden Gate downtown.


    Best pancakes on Earth.

    Entertaining piece.

    18, 19 and 26.. I have a problem with…

    14 and 24… I dig tons.

    No worries… You’ll be inviting me…

    Nothing wrong IF you invite a “special” guest. Right?

  3. bet your wife is a better dinner companion

  4. #5 confused me a bit – regarding the sexual favors, are you the giver or the givee? Just trying to understand the $600 fee, is all. (snark).

    Wish I was free this summer…nice job.

  5. That is one of the best lists I’ve seen!

  6. Classic Nolan Dalla!

  7. Did you forget your bottle of sparkling water for you and you alone?

  8. Love the sarcasm….assuming the role of a bombastic ego maniac. Some of your best writing yet!

  9. Nolan prefers socialist wingnut Bernie Sanders over Charles Krauthammer? Good grief.

  10. Are extended animal stories acceptable as long as they also fit under the category of wild sexual experiences?

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