Did Local Waitress Trick Her Customer into Buying Expensive Wine? [POLL]
A recent Atlantic City dining experience ended in sticker shock when the man ordering wine for his table got the check and realized he accidentally selected a bottle worth nearly $3,800. But, was the waitress actually at fault?
Joe Lentini was one of a party of 10 diners at a popular steak house inside a popular Atlantic City casino. Lentini, who tells NJ.com he is not a big drinker and knows nothing about wine, relied on his food server to help him select a bottle for the table.
Lentini says he asked the waitress to recommend something because he didn't have much experience with wine. "She pointed to a bottle on the menu (Screaming Eagle, Oakville 2011)", Lentini tells NJ.com, "I didn't have my glasses. I asked how much and she said, 'Thirty-seven fifty.'"
The restaurant's resident sommelier (a wine expert) presented the bottle to the table. Lentini admits to being in mid-conversation with his fellow diners at the time of the initial pouring and didn't pay much attention, let alone ask follow up questions.
When dinner was over, the table received a check totaling $4,700.61, including tax. The bottle of wine cost $3,750.
"I thought the wine was $37.50," Lentini said.
Lentini addressed his shock with his server and explained to her that he never would have ordered such expensive wine, and that she did not clearly express that bottle costs three-THOUSAND-dollars and fifty cents.
The waitress disagreed, and that's when the restaurant manager got involved. Lentini said, "I [told the manager] the waitress told me it cost 'thirty-seven fifty,' not 'three-thousand, seven-hundred and fifty dollars".
The manager's solution? He knocked the bill down to $2,200, and Lentini and his diners had no choice but to split the bill.
A diner at a nearby table attempted, to no avail, to corroborate Lentini's story, claiming he bared witness to the waitress' wine quote.
A spokesperson for the casino involved tells NJ.com it believes 'proper practices were followed' by the restaurant staff, saying "In this isolated case, both the server and sommelier verified the bottle requested with the patron."
The spokesperson believes there was no misunderstanding.
I've had this happen to me at another Atlantic City restaurant in a situation that felt way more than 'buyer beware' and more like a server hustling to take advantage of a patron. So what do YOU think of this Joe Lentini's claim of being bamboozled?