Dinner at Tramonti, Delray Beach, May 23, 2011
I'm sitting on Tramonti's patio with Victor and my friend, Dominic, who has just arrived from Detroit. Ordinarily, we would be at the bar or a back table, but Dominic hasn't seen the sun in weeks and wants to sit street-side. It's a good choice because Atlantic Avenue is hopping, and pretty girls are parading back and forth in front of us. From the way Dominic is looking, I'm guessing the sun isn't the only thing he's missing up north.
I've got my favorite waiter, Chris, taking care of us. He knows what I like and always orders for me, bringing out plates of rollatine melanzane and carpaccio di manzo as appetizers. A bottle of Chianti is on the table, and he pours three glasses. He's talking Italian, but I'm only half listening. Chris is a charmer, and my wife adores him ... as does my girlfriend. I think he prefers my girlfriend--and who wouldn't--because he say's, "No lady tonight, Lou?"
I say no, and he smiles. He's a real pro--never gets the names confused, but then, he usually plays it safe and calls both women "Bella". Tonight, he lingers at my side, making sure I'm pleased, before waiting on other tables. One couple starts grumbling, but Chris will make more from my tip than from all his other customers combined, and I'll be back in a day or two.