“I’m going to treat myself tonight,” I thought, as I headed to happy hour at Wolfgan.g Puck’s The S.ource on Penn.sylvania Ave. I rarely go out to eat anymore, and how often did I find myself at such a swanky place? I would order an appetizer and a glass of wine, I decided.
Without even glancing at the wine list, I asked the server for a Chardonnay. (I may be adventurous in the food department, but not when it comes to wine.) The two girls and I browsed the lounge menu and found ourselves interested in a few, quite pricey, small plates. Our server suggested we order five or six, but we settled on the following three: shrimp & scallop spring rolls with sweet chili dipping sauce, “American style” Kobe beef sliders with onion marmalade and chapel cheddar, and handcut fries with Bearnaise sauce. All ten bites I took were understateably delicious, but I was still extremely hungry. And as perfect as the dessert was (a crêpe filled with warm ganache, next to a cold chocolate mixed with heavy cream, and sprinkled with powdered sugar), it was dainty as could be and split three ways. My plans for the rest of the evening? Go home and eat a real dinner.
I pulled out my check card and opened the bill. One hundred and thirteen dollars! FOR A SNACK. Perhaps a gourmet one, but a snack nonetheless. I would’ve fed a toddler more! I skimmed the list of charges to find my glass of wine, some fancy name I’d never heard of next to the number 16, twice the price of the other girls’ drinks. Apparently I needed to specify that I wanted the cheapest glass of Chardonnay they had. I knew that stuff had been too delicious! I signed my name under “$44.76” and rode the Metro home, daydreaming about all the other things that money could’ve bought me. Three eyebrow waxings . . a week’s worth of groceries . . a new blouse . . transportation to and from New York.
But I’d paid for an experience, a very delicious one. And if I had to do it over, I’d pay $100 and actually get an entrée.