Friday, October 10, 2008

Dictionary Friday: Service, the Post-Wedding Story

an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.

So, finally, here's the update from last weekend.

The rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and wedding and reception were all fantastic. The weather was beautiful and really perfect for an outdoor wedding on the water. Thursday night's rehearsal dinner, at Catch 54 in Fenwick Island, was fun and my pork chop with an onion glaze was excellent (although I only ate about a third of it. Talking too much.)

The wedding food was great, too, and everyone knows that's certainly not always the case. The favorite hors d'oeuvres, hands-down, was the mini crab cake that was not really so mini, but nicely flavored and meaty. Dinner itself was simple - a few types of salad, a carving station and a pasta station with a bunch of options. Of course, ultimately the focus was on Missy and Seth and, well, on the DJ. It was a fun wedding and everything went off without a hitch.

There were, however, a couple of hitches on Saturday - the day after the wedding. We all woke up late and after a breakfast full of greasy food and piles of hash browns (that were nothing like french fries, which is what we all really wanted), Cooper and I returned to our room to take a four hour nap. Sarah napped at Gilly's, Mike and Alicia went to the pool then South Moon Under, and Jen and Bill went to the outlets then came back for a nap of their own.

At breakfast, we'd decided to regroup at 4 pm for happy hour. We only have so many opportunities to all hang out with no kids and no other responsibilities, so we were ready to take full advantage.

Except that apparently we weren't really. We were all just so...tired. Apparently the drinking and dancing and post-wedding staying up late at Fagers takes a toll. Also, apparently we're not 23 anymore.

Anyway, we did finally get it together around 5 and we went to Fish Tales for a drink and to decide where to go for dinner. That was our first mistake. We should've just decided to go one place and stay there for drinks and dinner. Maybe then we also would've been dressed coherently. As it turned out, we each dressed for a different night out - ranging from Cooper's jeans, flip flops and polo to Jen's dress and stiletto boots.

When we got to the bar, we were met with the worst kind of up-and-down evaluation looks imaginable. And no waitress. Which was fine - we ordered drinks and appetizers from the bar and settled in to decide where to have dinner.

I'd never been to Fish Tales before, and I really did like it - it's cute and laid back and I wish I'd been in jeans and flip flops and we'd stayed there all night. But as it was, people were looking at us funny and it was getting cold and we didn't have a waitress anyway. So we moved on.

Next stop: Liquid Assets, a wine shop/bar/restaurant on 94th street that I've wanted to try for a long time (their website is down). We looked up the menu on the way and were impressed. It had some range - lighter salads, some nice looking appetizers and several solid and interesting entrees - and we knew we'd be drinking well, too.

Once we arrived, we were all a little surprised by the restaurant. We'd all expected more of a restaurant/bar focus with a wine shop attached, or something like that. Instead, the place feels like a wine shop with some haphazard chairs and sofas, a bar in the center and a room for dining off to the side. The shop is the focus. Oh, and it doesn't feel like the beach at all.

The hostess told us it would be about a 45 minute wait, so we decided to get a drink and wander around. After all, it was only ten to seven.

Unfortunately, that didn't really work out. After about half an hour, we finally figured out HOW go buy a bottle of wine (flag down a waiter) but we couldn't even get the bartender's attention to get beer or a menu. All around us, people were having a great time, nibbling on appetizers that looked amazing and generally enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, we were fading. Getting hungrier by the second, we were also all thirsty and we really needed some seats. We weren't even sure how the hostess would find us if a table did become available. A quick trip back to the hostess didn't cheer us up, either. She told us that our wait at that point - after a 45 minute wait - would be at least another 30 minutes.

So it was with great sadness that we marched out of Liquid Assets, leaving their interesting menu and cute couches behind us (but only after another 15 minutes of searching for the waiter to pay for our wine). Next time.

At that point, we found ourselves back at the hotel, parking the cars and walking over to Fagers (their website is also down. What's wrong with Ocean City?). We walked in and a very nice older man sat us at a table just in front of the stage in the downstairs dining room. We were all excited to sit and to - finally - get something to eat.

Then we sat. And sat. And sat. After about 10 minutes, we asked the nice man for menus. He apologized profusely, brought us menus and (we think) went to shake down the waitress who was supposed to come to our table. To occupy ourselves, we watched the tables around us, who'd sat later, receive their drinks and even some appetizers.

Another five or 10 minutes later, a waitress came to our table, starting her spiel with "Please don't blame me - this was supposed to be someone else's table but she couldn't handle it." (We have mixed opinions on that intro. I actually appreciated the information.)

At that point, we went ahead and ordered everything. Drinks, apps, entrees. Drinks came, followed by "island fries", crab dip, and two types of wings. Everything was very good...except the crab dip. It was really pretty horrendous. Overly soupy and without much seasoning at all.

But from then on, dinner was good. Most of us ordered burgers of one kind or another, and they were universally delicious (it probably didn't hurt that we'd been hungry for three hours). Drinks ran out, and the band started tuning up as we finished, but these are minor compared to the Odyssean trek we'd endured earlier in the night.

Unfortunately, after dinner, we were all so wiped out from the dinner fiasco that we didn't have much energy left to continue the festivities. We went back to our room for drinks, but that didn't last long - we were all just too tired. In bed by 11:30.

I think we all had our energy back sometime around Wednesday. Finally.

So, the big lessons? Don't expect city service at the beach. Embrace island time. Pick one place and stay there. Wear jeans and flip flops.

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