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Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an…

Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter (2007)

by Phoebe Damrosch

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4763534,464 (3.2)9
Damrosch, former waiter at the New York City restaurant Per Se, details her career as a waiter, describing the intimate workings of restaurant table service at its best. Tales of critics and celebrities spice up the memoir with a few tips on how to earn a waiter's respect sprinkled throughout.
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Four-star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter would be pretty interesting. Banal observations by a young woman figuring out what she wants to do with her life are not very interesting -- not unless she's got literary skills that Ms. Damrosch does not possess. Very, very few secrets are spilled, and little of consequence is offered in their place. ( )
  scarequotes | Jan 23, 2016 |
Phoebe Damrosch was a waiter and then a captain at the Per Se restaurant in New York City for several years. Having been hired before the restaurant was built she gives great background on exactly what it takes to open, staff and run such an exclusive eatery. To me it is staggering the amount of silverware, stemware, bowls, plates, not to mention wines that are part of a 4-star restaurants meal. What I learned from this book is that I will never be the type of person who will frequent a place like Per Se. The prices alone would keep me away (seriously? items that cost hundreds of dollars?) but the food itself does not tempt me in the slightest. I can't imagine sitting down to a nice plate of bone marrow on toast points, or thyme ice cream with salt and hot Provencal olive oil. Huh? Damrosch has a great sense of humor and a great style of writing so I thoroughly enjoyed the book. ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Very impressively written book (228 pp.) on working in the New York 4-star restaurant Per Se. The owner also owns The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California. I will never go to either as the meals range into the hundreds and thousands. The book topic was overly detailed even for me who has worked in food service (the author was a back server before becoming a lead server). This book might interest some people. But most working restaurant people wouldn't read a book like this because it's too familiar and therefore intellectually redundant to their own experience. Lots of memories from her own personal life which was a good way to break the monotony of describing the work environment. I was impressed by her ability to be interesting but her characters left a lot to be desired. Pretty bland people who might say something interesting as not but her overly dramatic expectation that everyone would be witty became tedious for me. If everyone's first book was this good, I'd be an even happier reader. The author has a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Sep 3, 2014 |
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Average: (3.2)
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