Mother’s Day, Tipping And Cinco De Mayo
Wednesday - May 05, 2010
Restaurant industry sales are starting to look a little brighter, helped along this month by the biggest brunch day of the year - Mother’s Day.
But a busy day for restaurants doesn’t necessarily mean a wonderful experience for guests, so it’s encouraging to see that many restaurants are opening for lunch and dinner on Mother’s Day to accommodate those who want to take their moms for something other than a busy brunch.
And it’s interesting to see that steak houses are among the restaurants opening their doors and welcoming families for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Traditionally the big steak house holiday was Father’s Day. Now restaurants like Wolfgang’s and Ruth’s Chris are opening early and offering great deals on fixed-price meals.
While we’re on the subject of dining out, I might as well take a minute to broach the one subject that’s never far from my e-mail in-box: tipping.
There’s almost no dining topic that encourages as much debate. Many of you feel passionately about tipping, and even more of you have questions about tipping etiquette - especially when dining out on holidays and special occasions.
Here’s a reminder: Yes, you tip at a buffet. As long as there’s someone serving you - even if they’re simply bringing water and clearing plates - leave a tip. Ten percent is usually fine. For restaurant dining with full service, leave a 15-20 percent tip - more if the service is outstanding. I know that there are some of you who believe that tipping should not be part of the restaurant experience, and that by tipping we are actually encouraging employers to pay low wages, but that’s ridiculous. If you’re going out to eat, expect and enjoy good service and realize that tipping is part of the deal. And, yes, you should tip on the full value of the check, not only on the food. Those who believe that you shouldn’t tip on wine don’t understand what’s involved in excellent wine service. In most restaurants, a tremendous amount of effort and attention is given to creating a wine list and storing and serving wine correctly. There’s a great deal of professionalism involved in wine service. It deserves to be recognized.
Those looking for somewhere to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this week will be happy to hear that our Mexican dining options are now greater than ever. Luibueno’s Mexican Seafood and Fish Market has only been open for a month, but it has diners raving about the food and the ambience. Owners Luis and Taryn Silva have been making a name as caterers for a couple of years and finally opened their long-awaited restaurant last month. Luibueno’s is in the space formerly occupied by Rosie’s Cantina in Haleiwa’s North Shore Marketplace, and the restaurant fea-
tures dozens of seafood dishes and fresh, local produce. The restaurant is rumored to have the best fish tacos you’ll ever taste. It’s coastal village theme and fresh farm food have already made it the busiest spot on the North Shore.
I met up with master of tequila Kevin Vanegas last week for an update on the latest in the world of tequila and he couldn’t stop talking about his Luibueno’s experience.
“I’m Mexican, and I’ve eaten Mexican food all over the world,” he gushed. “Walking into that restaurant on the North Shore was like a dream come true. It wasn’t just the best Mexican food I’ve ever tasted, it was the best dining experience of my life!”
I know where I’m heading for Mother’s Day.
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