this, that, a li'l bit of the other, including a scam that happened right before my eyes

OK, so I just ordered some stuff, which I can explain - if asked in a particular tone of voice - as birthday presents. Since Himself is easily 4 years in arrears on those (of course I keep track, I'm devoted but not stupid), this will end the inquiry. I tried on the trench dress in one size larger than what I flatter myself is sometimes my normal size. I couldn't figure out what it reminded me of - oh, right. School uniform. However, I've now ordered it in my "regular" size, with the discount and the rewards and I'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, from the sublime to the ridiculous:
dinner at Daniel the other night, I had the loin of rabbit and an amazing chocolate dessert:

Oops, wrong rabbits!

roasted loin of rabbit with vegetables
I'm wanting to call this loin of chocolate
but that's really not necessary

Seated next to us was a sweaty back-packer in hiking clothes. I personally think that it's a mark of a classy restaurant that everyone is treated alike, served with helpful courtesy, and helped to make good choices (even if this last means avoiding local specialties like steamed calf's head)..
the Lounge
As we sat down, the young man was apologizing for his allergies to the Maître d', and the Maître d' was apologizing to the young man for a possible misunderstanding in the kitchen. The young man thought some fresh air might help stop the impending attack, and suggested that the rest of his meal be suspended until he returned.

Whatever you order, a meal at Daniel starts with two freebies, then your first course arrives. I suspected the young man would not return, having had his freebies and first course.

I was wrong, he returned, and explained that although he still felt that an "attack" was impending, he would like to continue the unbelievably wonderful meal.

While waiting for the impending next course, I noticed that he was fumbling in his backpack.

The chat continued until the next course arrived. He explained to the Maître d' that he was not French but was Canadian (like a Frenchman couldn't tell), from central Canada not Quebec, that he came from a well-to-do (bien aisée) family who didn't understand his devotion to fine cuisine, that after New York he hoped to go to France where he would seek to be apprenticed to a wine grower, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, yadda, or patati, patata as you wish.

His two next courses arrived. After the fish course, he mentioned to the anxious server that he had brought not one but two Epipens with him, so they were not to worry, and bring on the meat.

Here is where I explain that someone close to me, not a relative, carries an Epipen. From her, I learned this. First, if you are having an anaphylactic reaction, the Epipen does not cure you. It keeps you breathing until the ambulance arrives and gets you to the ER. Moreover, if you feel an attack coming on from a food allergy, you don't sit around and make chit-chat in Franglais. If you feel you should wait to see if things are going to get worse (not a good idea), you do said waiting in the ER after having put ER staff on notice. Finally, nobody carries an unwrapped Epipen. Once used, they must be disposed of.

So as the meat course arrived, our hero placed an unwrapped syringe that might have been an Epipen -or a small turkey baster - on his lap, pointing away from me, and dug in. The staff watched anxiously as he slurped up the dish.

Not our fellow diner,
but a random photo of someone
who sort of looks like him. 
He leaned back and breathed deeply. He explained to the waiter  who brought the dessert menu that while in New York he had dined at Per Se, 11 Madison Park, Jean-Georges, La Grenouille, and here at Daniel he had had the finest food he had ever eaten. Staff loves to hear stuff like that. Then he said he would skip dessert, and asked for the bill.

The Maître d' came back and explained that there would be no charge. He protested, to no avail. The Maître d' was immovable. The staff in the lounge lined up to bid him au revoir and he left.
I think this is at best what my cousin's late grandmother-in-law would call a mangia-francu - dialect for freeloader - at work, and at worst an ongoing scam. Or escroquerie or arnaque, as the French might say. Or bajour, as others  might say. I would love to know if Daniel's Maître d' called his counterpart at, say, Jean-Georges. Probably not. I do hope someone, somewhere, has his picture up in the kitchen.

So anyway, the next day, we drove out to the beach, where life is sometimes less complicated.


  1. Wow, what a story:)
    I carry an epipen too and all you said is correct.
    It is just to help you till the ambulance arrives.
    I only had a allergic attack once and it is no fun.

    Have a great sunday!

    1. Thanks, ina! You too! Food allergies are really scary, I guess no one wants to take a chance.

    2. I didnt know it was your birthday.
      Happy birthday to you!!!

  2. Hmmm, Daniel sounds familiar. I have eaten at Jean George's and did NOT enjoy. So sorry Donald. I have a shell fish allergy that even after twenty years my hubs ate crab with a fork then lent me said fork and I had an allergic reaction. Bit scary. Was your scam guy dining alone? Happy belated birthday..four time over. Many smooches my dear.

    1. Hi, BB, and thank you! ant I can't imagine knowing that I might have to jam a needle into my leg, with no choice. Anyway the guy was right next to me, and acted like he wanted to be observed.

  3. Hmm.
    Love the next day at the beach. And find myself wishing unpleasant things on the (probable) scammer who is using other people's medical dilemmas to unsuitable ends.

  4. Hi, Elephant's Child, thank you! Yes, I think I was born loving beaches and little beach towns.

  5. I'm sure the idiot is mighty proud of himself he got another fabulous dinner and all he had to do was some lousy acting. I don't understand people like that.

    Your dinner looks scrumptious though and I'm glad you got to enjoy the little beach town. Belated happy birthday wishes to you!

    1. thank you, tr! the beach pics are actually shots I grabbed as we drove around towns on the way to Flintstone Manor, trying to decide where to have dinner the night after Daniel. We wound up at a little Mexican place where the food is fine and the sangria is first-rate. That's the blurry picture, taken after dinner and a large pitcher of sangria.

      On reflection, I'm not so sure the staff was fooled, but were not taking any chances.

    2. Where the food is fine and the sangria is first-rate sounds perfect and a nice complement on another day to your Daniel dinner. Love the blurry pic making a good point. ;)

      I think the staff was not fooled but wanted to be rid of the freeloader as quickly and graciously as possible.

  6. Happy birthday to you, WFF!
    I'm surprised they were taken in by him.... My bullshit detector would have been going off very loudly!

    1. thank you, Ruth! my detector was sure flashing brightly!

  7. Hey Fred! Happy B'day darling!

    I think you know that like Ina, I carry an epipen, too, and had to use it once and it was very scary. I believe he was a freeloader too - I do not believe that 99.99% of people would ever knowingly put themselves in that situation and frankly, as soon as you have the adrenalin, you are very shaky! However, I do know a dummy in the .01% who INSISTS on continuing to eat lobster and gives himself the epipen when he starts and then heads to the hospital. Honest to God - I couldn't make that up! I expect to read of his death any day!

    Love your beach pics and the pics of your meal - do post in the well-deserved trench dress - I do love it!

    1. thanks, Wendy! sensible people know that there are some things you just don't fool around with.

  8. That guy definitely sounds like a scam artist. I wonder if the staff let him off easy just to get rid of him as soon as possible!

    Hope you are having a good weekend!

    1. hi, Louise, I thought so too, I was thinking they wanted to surround him with kindness to avoid any kinds of complaints or Internet-flaming. And to avoid a scene with him thrashing around and gasping on the floor, naturally. Restaurants really don't like it when an ambulance pulls up to the door and EMTs rush in...

  9. Happy birthday!

    What a bummer you had to be witness, I hope it didn't ruin your dining experience.

    1. Hi, Lisa, thank you!
      Um, frankly, if overhearing a scam artist at work could put us off our food, we wouldn't be able to eat out in NY. Usually, however, the scammers are wearing dark suits, polished shoes and Hermès ties, or very high heels and short, low-cut dresses, and sometimes it's fun to try to figure out who's scamming whom ;)

  10. Happy Birthday! It's a big one for me this week, too. We have shooting stars to announce this.

    Scammer is a nice way of saying it, I think. Too bad restaurants have to put up with this.

    Hope it's enjoyable at your beach; bit crowded here, more than usual it seems. Maybe I'm just old and crabby.

    1. hi, Lane, and happy birthday to you too!

      We drove another 30 miles or so east of us to meet friends for dinner on Friday, Himself moaning all the way about how we were about to run into roadblock-quality traffic. Which we didn't. He was amazed. I explained that Thursday is the new Friday, and therefore Thursday is when the traffic builds and builds and builds.

  11. Happy Birthday!
    My mom and I want to know if fuzzy baby bunnies come with the J Crew bags, otherwise we might ask for a refund. :P
    So interesting to hear about that guy's scam! I just don't understand people some days..

    1. hi, Laura, thank you! I read and reread the blurb that came with the bunnies ad, and I couldn't find any promises re: getting a bunny. I think the bunnies are in the same classification as the chicken that appeared out of nowhere in a recent catalog - random wildlife - which term used to mean a person you meet who is interesting and attractive, but for no more than 3 hours.


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