Monday, March 30, 2009
It was my Birthday on Saturday and I had just one simple request, to share a meal and a few libations with great company. Proud to say mission accomplished but the feat leading up was everything but simple. You know how hard it is to pick a restaurant for 15 people in Manhattan? Let me tell you. Its hard. Luckily enough I'm friends with some serious foodies who were able to help me navigate through Menu Pages, Urban Spoon, City Search, Eat and Greet, and countless other restaurant websites. I was looking for a cheap place that had a cool atmosphere and cheap pitchers of drinks... my friend Kiira response to this request... "Yeah, Its called Heaven." But then in a stroke of genius she suggested we have the dinner at Casa Havana, a small Cuban diner in Chelsea, where we had eaten lunch the week before. Perfect. Great food, cheap drinks, and a small Cuban diner... what could be cooler than that? So I called Casa Havana... and here is how the conversation went:
Me. "Hi, Can I make a reservation for 15 people this Saturday at 8:30?"
Casa Havana . "No. Lady. You have wrong place."
Me. "Oh, No. I don't. I was just there. Do you take reservations?"
CH. "Oh. No. Let me call you back"
(NO CALL BACK)
Me. "Hi. I called earlier."
CH. "OH Hi lady. No lady. No."
Me. "Um. Ok. I think there is some confusion. I was just wondering if I could make a reservation for 15 people?"
CH."No. Lady. NO NO NO!"
(Calls to numerous friends expressing my frustration with my inability to actually make a simple reservation. And of course my underlining issues of not being able to stop till I get my way...)
Me. "Hi. Yes. I called earlier. I'm just trying to make a reservation."
CH. "Lady. I told you No Lady. We out by 10. NO Lady NO!"
So at this point I begin to have a complete melt down. It was hard enough trying to agree on a restaurant and now that I have they won't take my calls or my reservations? And why not is the real question? I mean, we are fabulous, why would they not want to have us? Luckily I have friends in all the right places and Casa Havana has caller id. So I enlisted the services of Food Network employee and Eat and Greet blogger Kiira to make the call for me. And what happened? They took the reservation, of course, and in the 15 of us went... completely over dressed mind you. I can't tell if it was the crammed table in the back, the $5 mojitios, or the perfect company, but my birthday dinner was everything I hoped it would be and more. With a little determination and the breaking of a language barrier you can get whatever you want... even a table for 15 people on a Saturday night.
And even though I doubted it at times, I'm happy to report that my heaven does exists. Its at 190 8th ave. with cheap drinks and only the best company.
Posted by Arax-Rae Van Buren at 4:28 PM