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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Trying to Pick a Place: The Search Begins

“How hard could it be to pick a place?” my fiancé asked a few weeks ago in a way that was more encouraging than condescending. After agreeing to spend the weekend scouting out a few local venues, he quickly found out.

Multiple cab rides, several bad meals, and 2 packages of Tums later and he seemed as downhearted as me – though it may have been the indigestion -- but who’s to say?

Given that our wedding is small on any scale (about 60 people), we were talked into the idea of visiting some smaller restaurant-type places and looking at their reception rooms. Seemed simple enough, right? The first place we went to was so off the map that the cab driver could barely find it. When we arrived, we were greeted by a bubbly hostess who enthusiastically showed us upstairs to the “ballroom” - a room that looked as if it had been outfitted in the 1980’s or used to film a scene in “The Wedding Singer.” Hubby-to-be just looked at me and widened his eyes and I smiled and thanked the hostess for her time. It was late in the day and so we decided to at least make the most of our 12 dollar cab ride and have something to eat. After all, we’d heard that this was a very “well-liked” NOVA restaurant. What did we have to lose?

Our lunch, I guess.

Aside from the fact that the walls were adorned with naked women throughout, the menu was like a to-do list of things you would never dream of ordering and so I opted for the green salad and M for the calamari, which – mind you – he has gotten a lot better at saying in Sicilian dialect. We tried to laugh it off after the waitress brought our food and I picked through my lettuce impatiently. My impatience soon turned to horror as I discovered rotten lettuce on my plate. At the same time, hubby-to-be announced that he had discovered his squid was not cooked. Wasn’t this the same place that had sent me that beautiful wedding package detailing the filet mignon (which wasn’t even on the menu)? Wasn’t this the place that my nearly-wed co-worker recommended as being a “great little restaurant?” I learned a valuable lesson: always visit the place yourself!

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