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Leslie Brenner Is Tired Of ‘Aggressive’ Wine Pours And Chilly Restaurants

The critic divulges her latest dining pet peeves

This wine pour is not aggressive.
Boris Kuznets/Shutterstock

No one’s ever accused Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner of pulling any punches, and as the end of 2016 approaches, she’s making local restaurateurs aware of the hospitality missteps that really, really annoy her.

In a snarky listicle posted yesterday, Brenner goes after the year’s worst hospitality “trends,” like the valets that ask for “private” cell phone numbers before they park your car and what she calls “tiny plate syndrome.” Most interestingly, though, Brenner has had it up to here with restaurants that “aggressively” pour wine and try to ply her with too many cocktails.

Check out this harrowing scenario:

A server comes around making sure wine glasses are filled. But instead of stopping when each glass is filled appropriately – which means three or four ounces – she overfills the glasses, then holds up the empty bottle triumphantly. "Would you like another bottle?" Awkward! We have full glasses! Looking to pad the check?

Variation: A server comes around to fill wine glasses, entirely filling the host's glass, but leaving someone else's empty. Then he holds up the bottle cunningly, staring at the host: "Another bottle, sir?" He is daring you to be a cheapskate. Would you deny your friends another glass while yours is full?

Quelle horreur! Brenner also sounds off on chilly restaurants and annoying servers that interrupt conversation at the table. Thoughtfully, she offers simple fixes — turn up the thermostat! Learn to read body language! — that restaurateurs can deploy if they want to “go all squishy and cultivate return customers.”

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