The other night I was in Zola,
the espionage-themed restaurant in DC’s Penn Quarter, leafing through
the wine list while sipping a nice Riesling, waiting for my party to
arrive. Ralph Rosenberg, the beverage meister of Star Restaurant Group
who created the list, spotted me taking notes and promptly interrupted.
(The restaurant is adjacent to the International Spy Museum, after all!)
When he saw that the left-hand pages of my binder were blank, Ralph let
out a growl of frustration. It seems diners at Zola steal the tasting
notes Ralph inserts to help sell his disparate wines from around the
I’ve heard of silver spoons disappearing from restaurants, or fancy
pepper grinders. At Lima, a
night club/restaurant hybrid in DC, I alerted the manager one night to
the absence of soap in the men’s room, and he told me that their chrome
soap dispensers disappear on a regular basis. (That’s why most places
have the soap dispensers tacked to the wall, I guess.)
If all Zola is losing to theft is wine notes that can be easily printed
out from a computer, they’re lucky. But it baffles me that people steal
anything. Mrs. McIntyre didn’t raise her little boy that way. If I were a
sociologist I might draw some conclusion about the crisis of parenting
in our country. Or maybe as an old political science student I could tie
this to Washington ethics in an Age of Entitlement.
But I’m neither of those. I’m just a common sense guy, and this strikes
me as stupid.
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