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Check Please!

New Year’s resolutions we would like Long Island restaurants (and their patrons) to make



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Children Under 7 Should Not Be In This Swell Joint After 8:30 p.m.

I love babies, even yours. But if I paid for a babysitter, so can you. I don’t want to hear them, don’t want to see them and don’t want to smell them after, let’s say, 8:30 p.m. in a place such as this. Bring ’em to Applebees or another place with pictures of the food on the menu and crayons and balloons. As my wife says, babies should be home sleeping. There’s very little a restaurant can do to put an end to this, especially in these times when every tab counts. But the absence of a kids menu should be a strong hint that maybe they’re just not welcome. What if there was a big old sign with a picture of a stroller with a line through it? Would parents get the message?

TV Dinners Are Getting Old

Just because you can fit a flat screen anywhere, doesn’t mean you have to. I think this trend started post 9/11. We felt the need to be kept up to date on what the latest terror alert color was. But enough is enough. I love TV. I have one in every room of my house. But they have no place in a dining room of a restaurant unless it’s a bar or quick bite type place like a pizzeria. I’m too easily distracted—my eyes drifting up toward the screen and away from dinner conversation. I come for a nice meal and perhaps to escape the news and now its right over my table. I find the news less than appetizing, especially if it’s “fair and balanced.” If I need to see a ball game I’ll hit a sports bar. I don’t even want to see the Food Network.

Get Away From Me with That Goddamn Pepper Grinder

What’s the big deal about fresh ground pepper that you have to wield the Louisville Slugger-sized grinder, hovering over the table, seconds after the plates emerge from the kitchen, where presumably the chef has purposely under-seasoned the food? At least wait until we’ve actually tasted the food and signal that we urgently need fresh crushed black pepper. Maybe we could take this opportunity to create a universal symbol for “more fresh ground pepper please!” Maybe a twisting gesture with both hands would work? A signal that, yes, we are in need of your unique services. Please don’t come over until I’ve signaled. I don’t like the pressure of you standing over me like I’m tasting wine.

And with that, a happy and healthy New Year to all!

Get instant news on restaurants on LI and everywhere else Ron Beigel eats; follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TweatersDigest.

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