Monday, February 06, 2012

Rubbing Shoulders with the Mayor

Recently, I was dining with some dear friends at our usual hang-out, the incomparable Lao Sze Chuan in Chicago’s Chinatown. We had brought our own bottle of wine to accompany the meal; an Australian malbec. 

It was a Sunday evening and the place was unusually crowded, probably due to the Chinese New Year celebrations. We had placed our orders and noticed that Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and his family appeared and had taken a large table near ours. 

Two of our entrees appeared and we gave our bottle of wine to the server to be uncorked. By that time, most of the servers and the owner of the place were all buzzing around the mayor’s table. 

Our entrees stopped coming. The wine hadn’t been returned. It was obvious that the staff were occupying themselves with the mayor and his entourage. 

I looked over at the mayor’s table and said to my friends: “Hey. I think that’s our bottle of wine on his table!”

I walked over to ask a waiter about our elusive bottle of wine. More buzzing ensued upon my query. It turned out that, yes, they had plopped our wine down in front of the mayor. The owner was frantically ‘shooshing’ me, placing his index finger over his lips. A substitute bottle of wine was promised.

I returned to our table where my friends were having a good laugh over the mix-up. By that time, the owner and a waiter appeared with an ersatz bottle of pinot noir and many apologies. We told him that all was well, for this would make a great story. The entertainment value of their mistake was far higher than our malbec. 

And here’s a photo I snapped of our mayor. 

Yes, it’s uncool to post this. But after all, he got our wine. 

Needless to say, the fact that the mayor chose our favorite restaurant for his evening out (and subjected himself to patrons snapping his photo) just goes to show you how great the food really is at Lao Sze Chuan.

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At 5:07 PM , Blogger Bob said...

You were a lot kinder than i would have been about the wine.

I would have snuggled in next to Rahm and asked, "How do you like my malbec?"

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