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Poor treatment at DaMimmo

Last night the fiance and I had plans with my parents for dinner at DaMimmo. My parents cancelled at the last minute but we decided to go anyway. Now we are on the younger side...27 and 31 but we can well afford DaMimmo. We arrived and were seated promptly but our waiter was slow and seemed offput by us. We ordered our appetizer and a coupele of iced teas to start as we mulled over the wine list, When he brought out the appetizer he stood there straight faced and asked us what we did for a living. We weren't sure why he was asking or what the point was so we asked him why he was asking....considering he wasn't being very friendly ( in fact quite cold)when he asked and we weren't "conversing" with him about anything when he did ask. His response was " You look too young to afford this place"- flat, cold, not in a joking nice manner..just abrupt.. It was so left field that I sat there in shock while my fiance started to laugh. For starters while not cheap it's not exactly outlandish and like I said we are 2 professionals who can afford DaMimmo. Granted the majority of the clientele there was older than us but so what? After not getting us to answer him about such a personal question- we simply said " well we can assure you that we can" and he responded " hm" and then he just walked away from us. We decided that we weren't going to continue the meal after that so we ate our appetizers and finished our drinks and went on our merry way after stopping to tell the manager that we didn't find the approach or meddling question to be of importance and that we would not continue to be served by someone so incredibly rude. The manager tried to talk us back into eating there with a differnet server but we said no thank you.

We ate at Chiaparellis instead and it was wonderful!

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  1. A few years back I had a terrible dining experience at DaMimmo's and have never been back. Same kind of attitude thing after waiting nearly 1.5 hours with a reservation. Frankly, there are too many good restaurants in Little Italy to put up with that attitude. A better dinner can be had by walking a few steps outside the DaMimmo's front door, as your and your fiancee demonstrated last night!

    1. Unfreakingbelievable... (shaking head)

      1. >>You look too young to afford this place"


        >> after stopping to tell the manager that we didn't find the approach

        Good for you. Hopefully they'll go out of business.

        1. Wow. Simply wow.

          Your waiter should be fired.

          1. What century did they teleport that waiter from? Maybe they should tell him younger people now can make quite large salaries. Incredible.

            1. I am going to try to take the poster's impression of the waiter's horrible attitude at face value, and if the sequence of events was even ballpark accurately portrayed the condescending attitude and rude question is inexcusable. So I am not defending the restaurant. And judging from a follow-up post, there seems to be a server with known a**hole tendencies on the staff.

              I originally intended to post an alternative point of view, citing the admittedly "last-minute" cancellation of a four-top and replacement by the younger couple, who ordered ice teas and then took awhile considering and apparently rejecting wine. Was the server familiar from previous visits with the parents? Did the server have a relationship with the now absent parental couple, who probably made the initial reservation?? Did the parents ordinarily pick up the check, pay a generous tip, and order wine??? All of these may help explain the waiter's horrible presentation and inappropriate inquiry. But certainly any or all of the reasons don't justify the offense.

              I disagree with jfood that the couple should have compalined and evacuated immediately or then taken measures to salvage the evening there. I can completely relate to the shock of the incident, talking it over while eating the appetizers, and then deciding to leave. A considered exit probably carried more weight than a hasty exit in the heat of the moment.

              4 Replies
              1. re: nosh


                Jfood is glad you placed your last sentence in paragraph 2. Jfood could not agree more with that summation and even if all the questions were answered in favor of the server, it does not justify the server's statement. Full stop for both you and jfood in full agreement.

                But speaking from experience, jfood has been in some very untenable situations as the result of a lousy server, one in particular comes to mind. M&M jfood reserved a 4-top and the wife of the other couple came down with something at 3pm. Jfood called the resto and offered either to cancel or keep it as a 2-top. The MOD told jfood to come on in. First timer. Now the Jfoods do not drink alcohol, so there was a tap water and a diet coke ordered. The server performed miserably on presenting the choices (jfood listened to his presentations at other tables) and then he barreled through our order. The entrees arrived DURING the apps (jfood believes the server "fired" the entrees as soon as the apps were served). Jfood called the server over while the runners hovered over the apps, holding the entrees. He told the server he wanted a 20 minute interval between the courses and take the entrees back (this was a $30 entree place). As soon as the app plates were cleared he brought over the entrees and placed them on the table. Jfood looked at Mrs Jfood and they decided to leave. So up to here it is a pretty good, but not perfect, analogy.

                Jfood approaches MOD and tells her they are leaving. She pleads with him to stay and she will make sure everything is perfect. This discussion continued for about 5 minutes and jfood finally agreed.

                He returned to the table and explained to mrs jfood who gave him one of those looks. A beautiful cheese platter arrived and the MOD told the jfoods to enjoy while the entrees were completely re-fired. The entrees were perfect. The dessert fantastic. After an extremely rocky start, one of the best meals of jfood's life.

                Now the resto is his favorite, he is very good friends with management, sends and brings tons of people and everyone can not believe how great everything is.

                So jfood absolutely understands your point, and it is a very reasonable one. But given how sometimes you have to think outside the box can have some very long term benefits.

                1. re: jfood

                  I definitely understand about not letting a jerk spoil the evening, but I don't think your situation was similar to the OP's. If I was in your shoes, I would have done the same thing. It was just bad service, but not malevolent in any way. How would you have reacted if the waiter said, "So you're not ordering any drinks, huh? Are you guys cheap or something?" I think that puts a different spin on things.

                  And I do think that because the OP left the restaurant, it speaks greater volumes as to how offensive the waiter was as opposed to them staying and getting another server. Hopefully the manager will do something about that waiter. To the OP -- sorry you had to experience that sort of behavior. I'm actually kind of shocked as I see very young people (I'm talking high school prom here) in restaurants more expensive than DaMimmo.

                  1. re: Miss Needle


                    Rule #2 - Do not get in an intellectual argument with an unarmed man. A server asking that question does not deserve a response. Jfood would have stood up, excused himself and walked over to the MOD and asked for a different server.

                    No argument that the waiter was offensive. But if jfood is sitting for dinner with mrs jfood he will try to solve the problem first and then leave. Just getting up and leaving is quite frankly a sign of youth and that is what the turbo-jerk waiter was probably hoping for.

                2. re: nosh

                  Well just to answer a few " i wonder' type questions.

                  My parents do frequent DaMimmo but not to the point where they would be considered " regulars" nor do I doubt anyone there would recall them. They go maybe once a month maybe? Do they tip well? They sure do! But, so do we!

                  We called ahead to let them know it would be 2 instead of 4. We did not just show up and say "its only 2 now". We didn't reject wine...we were looking OVER the wine menu and fully expected to order wine..but wanted something a little more hearty than water to quench our thirst before ordering..but nothing alcoholic before the wine.

                3. Never let one jerk spoil an evening. Although the approach you took by leaving probably felt good, both then and now, in the end the server probably received a slap on the wrist and a 4-top with wine. And you were inconvenienced having to go to another restaurant.

                  That being said, the server was a _______(fill in whatever you want and you probably will receive 95% of the same motif as Beto_pan, above). But jfood thinks you need to rise above one jerk, especially a turbo-jerk as this waiter appears to be.

                  Jfood looked up Missimo and it appears that some dishes are a bit pricey, but not over the top, and others on the low side but he would not characterize this as a huuuuge expensive place. And since you and your fiance were already seated (without parents, could be a positive) why blow the popsicle stand because of the server. In addition, according to the OP, the verbiage happened at the delivery of the appetizers, yet they stayed and ate the appetizers and drinks and then decided to leave. How outraged was the OP if he ate the app? If the OP would have left immediately that would seem a more normal timeline.

                  Jfood would have excused himself immediately from the table (after recovery and several deep breaths) walked over the the MOD, explained, demanded a change of servers, and expected something from the MOD to stay. The MOD tried to keep you, so he did the right thing, but you were already a one-way ticket. Next time jfood would recommend trying to solve an issue versus scorching the earth. Life's too short to let the bad guys ruin an evening with your fiance.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    It does not sound like the evening was ruined by the server. Instead it turned out wonderful. I probably would have been pretty shocked if this had happened to me, especially while looking over the wine list, and would have not known exactly how to react, so I applaud you for your reaction ryzaroo. It was perfect considering the situation. The only other thing you could have done is to, immediately after the "hm", ask him for the manager and put him on the spot. I also agree that a different server would have not made this a good experience. The previous "approach" would have hung over the evening and that would have ruined it. Good job.

                    1. re: jfood

                      I can see both sides of the argument. I would tend to be the kind of guy who would have done what the OP did, but the merits of trying to resolve things so I could stay there also has merit. My temper in these kinds of situations is why I would tend to leave, hopefully my date would be more even and balance things out to help make the best decision for both of us.

                      1. re: jfood

                        Well the OP is a "she" not a "he" :)

                        We ate the appetizer because we ordered it and we were going to pay for it. It was a simple anitpasto and we "discussed" what just happened and what we wanted to do about it. It took some time for us to look at one another with the " what the heck was that? did that really just occur? holy smokes!- how do you feel? I'm offended...how do you feel honey?" type thing.

                        I wouldn't say the night was ruined. We were upset but we did wind up having a really good meal elsewhere. That's the beauty of Little Italy...walk 2 feet in any direction and wham there's another restaurant :)

                        1. re: ryzaroo


                          If it worked out well for you and MR fiance, fantastic. :-))

                          And a good meal w a loved one is the best meal.

                          Sorry for the oops on the gender.

                      2. You handled it exactly the way ithis situation should've been handled. You didn't get into a debate with the server, you told the manager, and you left.

                        It sounds like this server has no boundaries when it comes to discussing anything.

                        1. what has been missed here is why the server thought it was his place to ask if you could afford the meal. If the server really thought that some customers were planning a hit and run, or would not pay at the end of the meal he should have brought it to the attention of the GM at the start. I am not saying the OP looked like he was going to be a problem!
                          Not so long ago I went looking at cars and the salesman didn't even ask me what car I was looking for but made up his mind that I was going for one of the small cheap models and sent me over to look at them. When I said that wasn't what I was planning on he looked at me in a surprised fashion and muttered something about how I didn't looked dressed to buy a truck in the $30,000 and up category (jeans and sneakers). Needless to say I left immediately, and probably should have told his manager.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: smartie

                            Best to look like you can't afford to pay much for a car. Not sure it works as well with restaurant service / meals.

                          2. I must be dense because I don't understand why you let a waiter ruin your experience at a restaurant.

                            I would have deadpanned something smartass like, "I'm a porn star, don't you recognize me?" when the waiter asked what you did for a living or said something equally blistering then taken the manager up on the offer of a different server.

                            Sometimes servers have 'off' nights or are not a good fit. Switch and be done with it if you love the food.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: BlueHerons

                              Guess we just aren't as quick on the draw with the comebacks as you...")

                              We didn't wish to stay...sorry...:( We dont "love" the food.... we don't know it well enough to " love it". We expected a nice meal wihout the "remarks".. After the "remarks" we didn't wish to stay.

                              "different strokes"

                              1. re: ryzaroo

                                I totally agree. I would not be able to enjoy the evening after that dreadful server. Changing servers would not take away the bad taste in my mouth.

                                That said, a better revenge on that god-awful server would have been to stay with a different server, enjoy a bottle of good wine, linger over the delicious food, and leave a hefty tip for the replacement server. And still tell the Manager that you feel he should be fired for inappropriate remarks to customers!

                                1. re: ryzaroo

                                  My mistake, I thought I read you liked the food there.

                                2. re: BlueHerons

                                  Why get into a battle? The waiter is there to serve the customer and at the point where he went off course and said something rude and arrogant he made this couple feel uncomfortable and thus the experience was ruined - at this restaurant. It's not like they went home hungry and angry, they just took their cash someplace else and had a nice time. Really, if the waiter is that brazen to their face, do you really want to get into a battle of words with a man who is going to be handling your food? And an off night is maybe a swamped or absent minded server, this guy has a attitude problem and is in the wrong line of work.