This is probably the oddest category of post you've seen on this blog so far. But, I've been meaning to tell you. The value of a good waiter is... priceless.
You see, you're out to dinner. Maybe with a friend, maybe your spouse, or the date for whom you've been hoping. Many folks would say that the best waiter is one who keeps the drink and food coming when you want and doesn't interrupt or bother your conversation.
However, I'd beg to differ. We've been to restaurants (I'm looking at you, Bentwood Tavern) where the waiter is... superb. That evening was my thirtieth birthday and the waiter was just the thing to make our perfect evening out even more enjoyable. He knew just enough about the menu to say what is good, what is excellent and what would suit us, after only a brief conversation of our preferences. A superb waiter understands love of food and drink and wants to chat about what makes this bottle of Zinfindel perfect with this particular cheese. They go beyond just saying that you've made, "An excellent choice"... Sometimes to the extent of sharing the perfect song from the french pop album they just compiled for their girlfriend.
And, of course, when you're happy with your choice and the food is divine... they disappear and leave you to enjoy the perfect evening...
And keep your water glass full.
Note: I am firmly against taking "restaurant photos". So, I gave you what I have... iPhone shots. The first photo is of Loyal Nine, where we enjoyed our 4th anniversary dinner while in Boston for 24 hours. The waiter and bartender were superb that evening. Cheers to you finding a superb waiter! (And if you're in South Bend, the bartender at Tapastrie is superb.)