Ten years ago, a Santa Fe couple fell in love on the white sand beaches of the Seychelles, dining al fresco on local octopus and fresh fish. Last week, Waterbar helped this couple to relive that life changing event. At Waterbar, our guests trust us to host the landmark occasions in their lives. That is an honor that we don't take lightly. Here is the story as recounted by Waterbar GM Rich Troani.
It started with a phone call on a spring morning to Jason Pryor from a couple in Santa Fe, NM. She was planning a special night, she called more than 30 restaurants in San Francisco to see if they would construct a special octopus menu. We were the first restaurant that said yes. Our chefs, Justin and Billy, went above and beyond with a great menu of diverse favors and preparations. We were ready to go with all of our script in place.
A great job by Jason – here is his email to the team on 3-21-14.
Tomorrow evening, we have a special pre-fixed menu requested by one of our guests. It is a party of 2 at 7:30 pm. She requested a 4-course menu with octopus featured in each course for her husband’s birthday. I spoke to Justin a couple of weeks ago and he said this could be arranged for $90. She will just order a la carte as she doesn’t like octopus and wants to make her own selections. You can present dessert menus to them both as they will order this a la carte. Chef Billy will put the pre-fixed menu together tomorrow, but since I won’t be here I have created a template and placed it in the menu’s folder. I’m sorry to create more work for the person doing the dinner menus, but it shouldn’t take too much extra time. I have all notes in OT for the server.
So, they arrive, I had the pleasure to welcome and seat them at table #5, Peter Palmer opened special wines off the list to pair with their octopus meal, Peter saw to it that everyone who had anything to do with their experience signed the special printed menu, Sophie treated them great and even used her artistic ability to paint a choco-octopus on his dessert plate, we all had multiple visits to their table.
And now the rest of the story…
She was told on Friday night to pack a bag for the morning – surprise, it is your birthday on Saturday. OK, he is set, and they leave for Los Angeles on the 7am flight. They arrive in LA, meet one of his old friends, have a greatlunch with him together at a nice outdoor setting. Well, what a nice 40th birthday, thanks honey….Not so Fast!
She let’s him know they need to catch a cab to LAX; going somewhere special for dinner. They arrive in San Francisco and head to Waterbar. It is his 40th birthday; but so much more than that.
Ten years prior, they met when he planned a week long trip to the Seychelles, he always wanted to go…three days later, they meet, the next day he has lunch on the beach with her, he had octopus, she had fish. He fell in love with the simple and terrific preparation for the octopus, and knew that he fell in love with her that first day of an octopus lunch on the beach in her home country. At the end of his week vacation, he cancelled his flight home to the USA. They were married a year later, four years later, they moved to the USA.
To be part of the team that makes the special place, whichthey celebrated their life, love, and a 40th birthday, which he will always envision in his heart and mind. That; that is much more than running a restaurant, that is the magic of what we can do collectively.
Many thanks to all who create the pride and magic of Waterbar,