The best table in our restaurant did not exist. We had forty chairs in the dining room and four more chairs in “the vault”. The vault was the original vault for the building. It made an intimate dining room for four very good friends.
This is how the best table in ROXY’S was created. It was a very busy night. Every table in the restaurant was booked. A regular customer walked in hopeful I could squeeze one solitary diner in for dinner. He looked tired. In need of care and nourishment. I knew he was involved in a particularly long and unpleasant court case. How could I possibly send him away.
“I have one table. You won’t be able to order off the menu. It’s a little crowded. A bit hectic and definitely on the warm side, but I can promise you, you won’t leave hungry.”
So I sat him at a table just big enough to hold a plate and a glass of wine. Wedged into a corner, his knees tucked in to avoid flying waiters, our kitchen began to feed this hungry soul. As each order was filled a nibble of this, a taste of that, landed on the best table.
He watched the ballet of kitchen. The line worked in perfect unison. As carefully choreographed as a ballet. Night after night the ballet was repeated. Everyone knew the steps. Quiet, calm, and the occasional laugh as waiters and chefs worked together. We were a family.
My customer finished his meals. Then sat late into the evening, reluctant to leave the warmth and comradeship he had experienced at “the best table in-house”. The table that didn’t exist.