I'm calling bullshit on wine story

According to the article, Joe Lentini was dining at a restaurant in Atlantic City and ordered a bottle of wine which he thought cost $37.50. But then we he got the bill at the end of the meal, he saw he was being charged $3750.

And I’m saying this story doesn’t pass the sniff test. According to Lentini, he asked the waitress to recommend a wine and she was the one who made the suggestion. What kind of waitress would recommend a $3750 bottle of wine? And, again according to Lentini, he asked about the price and the waitress said it cost “thirty seven fifty”. What kind of waitress would answer like that? If you have a customer asking about the price, you’re going to assume he’s not looking to spend $3750. At the very least, you’re going to make sure he’s aware how much he’s spending.

I’m thinking scam. Lentini knew he was ordering an expensive bottle of wine and then tried to get out of paying by claiming there had been a misunderstanding.

I can believe *that *much.

I’m reminded of the infamous Nieman-Marcus cookie recipe.

Yep. All he had to do was just glance at the wine list (PDF) - all of it is rounded to the nearest dollar.

It could happen, but the article says “The restaurant staff says it verified the bottle request with Lentini”, so it sounds unlikely that he wasn’t told that it was expensive, if it did happen.

Gotta disagree with the OP. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go through the hassle of scamming a bottle of wine. $3750 in cold, hard cash, I can get, but not a bottle of wine.

“The restaurant staff says it verified the bottle request with Lentini…” Doesn’t that just cover the part where the waitress said it’s “thirty seven fifty” and then asked him whether he wanted that bottle? :slight_smile:

I can see a waitress being paid a commission on wine purchases (informally by whomever or formally) being fine with a little deception.

More detailed article: Bamboozled: What happens when a 'thirty-seven-fifty' bottle of wine really costs $3,750 - nj.com

There is some corroboration for the customer’s story. It was a business dinner of 10: [INDENT]The diner sitting to Lentini’s left at the table, Don Chin, said he heard what Lentini heard when the wine was ordered.

“Joe had asked for a suggestion on the wine and the waitress pointed to a wine,” he said. “Joe asked the price and she said ‘thirty-seven fifty,’ not ‘three-thousand, seven-hundred and fifty,’ which is what I would have said, so we all thought it was $37.50.”

When the bill came, “We all had a heart attack,” Chin said.

Marcia Lentini was sitting to Joe Lentini’s right at the table.

“My husband said to the waitress, ‘I don’t know much about wine. Can you pick for me?’” Marcia Lentini said. “He asked her how much, and she said, ‘thirty-seven fifty.’”

“But then it was $3,750. Who would expect that in a restaurant?” she said. [/INDENT] The restaurant claims they have video without audio, but they refused to share it with the reporter. I don’t know what happened and the reporter doesn’t claim to know either. The customer claims he had a menu in hand, but asked the server the price because he didn’t have his reading glasses. Allegedly the bottle was recommended by the server.
That said, I know a FoF story about a guy scamming expensive wine from a restaurant. He didn’t call a reporter though.

It’s less odd for a party of ten that could have a bill over $1000 without the wine. Still, if the only price given was “Thirty-Seven Fifty” he’s got a legitimate beef. But if he was shown the price list and didn’t check it he’s just a schmuck.

Reading the (vast) wine list, out of hundreds of choices that’s basically the largest single bottle price.

If you say to a waitress “'I don’t know much about wine. Can you pick for me?” it seems seriously out of line for her to recommend the priciest one.

If the story gets any traction, the restaurant is probably going to blame it all on the waitress and fire her.

You need to start hanging out with a different class of people.

If the customer and his companions’ story is completely accurate, she should be fired.

Not commission, but consider the automatic 18% gratuity for that large a party.

I don’t drink, so maybe that sort of name isn’t unusual for an expensive wine, but “Screaming Eagle”?? :confused: That sounds like something I’d expect a wino to be drinking.

For anyone who grew up in St. Louis, it only means one thing.

Also, how do 10 people share a bottle of wine?

I’ve only seen it done around a barrel fire.

I’d like to see it corroborated, too. Doesn’t seem likely that the waitress would get away with this.

Didn’t read the linked article …

I wonder how far into the evening this was? Was this the one & only bottle they bought, or was this the 15th bottle after 14 more normally priced ones? IOW, was everybody involved still equipped with all their faculties?

What’s the average cost of a meal at this restaurant? Seems like a lot of money for wine. And they really need to change the name of it.