What a lovely day!

Weatherwise and otherwise!

I love Christmas eve day. The hustle and bustle. The merry xmas exchanges. The excited grandchildren.

Tonight is big in my tradition. Religiously and otherwise. Santa Claus. Family.

We eat good tonight! I will be cheating on my diet.

Yesterday was exciting in more ways than one.

Golf early in the day.

A difficult round. Took over 5 hours. The tourists were crowding the course and slowing play down.

I did not eat my usual diet breakfast before golf. Just had a cup of coffee. I was dead on the first hole. No fuel to burn.

My swing sucked. I almost quit after 9 holes. I was so tired. Glad I did not.

My moments of glory came on the 17th and 18th holes. Two of them!

I chipped in from off the green on 17th to win. Then did the same thing on 18! Wow!

Played with Tom, Yankee Jack and Tino. Tom was my partner in my moments of glory.

Dollarwise, I neither won nor lost. I broke even. Tom was the big winner. Tino the big loser. Had I not sunk those two chip ins on 17 and 18, I would have been the big loser. A lot of money turned around on those two chip ins.

Took a nap in the late afternoon. Although 17 and 18 rejuvenated my spirit, I was still tired. Ate a bit. From my diet foods, of course.

Last night began at Aqua. Bobby Nesbitt time. Enjoy his singing tremendously! He sang many xmas tunes which placed all in a mellow mood. We sang along a bit with him.

I had called for a reservation at the bar at Antonia’s for 7:30. Spoke with Michael the host. When I arrived, the bar was full. No seat for me.

Michael blamed the mishap on TK the bartender. Christopher the owner was standing nearby. I doubt he knew I had a reservation. I made no issue. I merely said I would eat elsewhere and left.

I was pissed off, however. Extemely. This happened to me two times on two consecutive weeks last year. I do not complain. I just take my business elsewhere. This is what I did for 6 months this past year. Antonia’s saw me not.

Obviously I forgave and forgot. I had returned to Antonia’s.

I am a customer at Antonia’s 1 or 2 times a week for years. Going back 3 differenet owners. I have also thrown large private parties at Antonia’s, taken many guests there and recommend it to people. The food is outstanding.

I did a slow boil all night over the situation. A reservation is a reservation. Especially in a tourist town. And I can tell you based on years of experience that reservations are respected in Key West. Every where. But apparently not at the bar at Antonia’s.

When I was returning to my car later in the evening, I had to pass by Antonia’s. Michael the host was standing outside smoking a cigarette. I could not hold it in. I stopped and told him how upset I was and that I would never eat in Antonia’s again. He asked why. Can you imagine! So I told him about last year, my absence and the failure to honor my reservation last night.

He could have cared less. He said in effect so don’t come.

Up his! I walked away.

I wonder what Christopher the owner would have said?

The Antonia misfortune worked to my benefit, however. I walked over to La Trattoria. Where there were available seats at the bar. I might also mention that I generally telephone La Trattoria for a reserved seat at the bar and am always accomodated. Not just me. Everyone. Key West is a reservation town.

Erin was bartending. As soon as I walked in, she said we were just talking about you. She came from behind the bar to take me into the dining room. Friends Cheryl and Roger were in and had asked for Key West Lou.

Everytime I run into them, they are eating. We joked about it. Especially since I am on a diet and they are not.

Debbie Reynolds was at the bar. Not the movie star of old. The youthful exuberant Debbie Reynolds of Key West. A friend for years. She is concierge at Grand Key. Her husband Tim was the chef at the Square One Restaurant for years. Now he is in the computer business.

Debbie was with her mother.

Debbie and I had not run into each other for a while. It was good to see her and chat with her. A nice person.

Beecha came in with friends. It was Beecha’s night off. She had been out on a boat with friends doing a sunset cruise.

I received my usual hug and kiss, of course. Hugs and kisses I never got at Antonia’s. Come to think of it, another reason for boycotting Antonia’s from now on.

Beecha introduced me to Johnny and Peggy Newberry. They own a guest house in Key West. The Mango Tree Inn on Southard. For 11 years. We had some interesting conversation.

Johnny told me that the singer James Slater stays at the Mango Tree Inn when he is in town. He was in Key West a few nights ago. Johnny and Peggy threw him a party. Slater was with his friend and composer Jeff Cohen.

Slater is presently up for a Grammy award.

Interesting the people who visit KeyWest!

I had scallops. Just scallops. Five of them. Stayed on the diet.

I was sitting at the bar with my back to the window and Duval Street. All of a sudden I heard banging on the window. I turned around. There were Nancy and Michael. Bright smiles. Arms around each other. Mouthing a Merry Christmas to me.

I love Nancy. She was in college during the turbulent 1960s and propably blew up a building or two. Only kidding! But by her own admission she participated in the demonstrations of that day. She and Michael work at Don’s Place. Nancy is the genral mangar. Michael the morning bartender. Michael opens the doors to Don’s Place at 7 am so the members of the breakfast club may enter.

The Antonia/La Trattoria situation last night was a tale of two restaurants. Antonia’s a total screw up that I must confess did bother me. On the other hand, La Trattoria turned out to be a warm happy event.

It’s how the cookie crumbles.

Enjoy this Christmas eve day. Be good! Otherwise you will be buried in coal as Antonia’s is. La Trattoria is going to get all the goodies this evening.

7 comments on “

  1. Will spread the word on Antonia's. No business should be so confident (even in snowbird season) to treat loyal customers this way. I could see messing up the reservation, but the treatment and attitude afterwards is a bit much. Does not fit into the Key West culture.

  2. Christoper is no different than Michael. Both have little brains. But, the good part of having dinner at Antonia's is, you get a break from La Trat. Can't eat in the same Italian restaurant every day.

  3. I don't have a dog in this fight. But I do have a favorite restaurant, where they always reserve "my" table. It would piss me off if they knew I was coming and they didn't save me a place…repeatedly.

    Actually it happened once. But the owner expressed extreme regret and put us up at a different table, complimentary coctails and then quickly moved us to our regular table as soon as the other guests had left.

    The problem occurred because each the manager and owner thought the other was taking care of the reservation. On a busy night, completely understandable.

    My only question for Lou, did you actually speak to the owner? Perhaps the result would have been different…the owner has much more of a stake in your patronage than does the manager, who is paid a salary.

    If the owner is just as dismissive of your slight, than I agree, move on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.