It's Kim's birthday today. In this diminished economy, we splurged a bit and ate a nice meal at Ruths Chris Steakhouse, an upscale steak place here in Baltimore (Pikesville, actually, a suburb). Of course, it's all about steak so we each had one, and they were almost better than you'd have any right to expect. They didn't have the kind of crazy great service I had at the over the top Peabody Hotel meal I had a while back, but it was damned good service.
Al, our waiter, was from Spain via New York City. When I was a boy, my family would visit our friends in New York City and invariably have a meal at Le Boefe. (Reviewer writes: "It would be so much better if the two owners weren't so rude.") At Le Boefe it was perfect tableside service with not a word spoken by the dense hierarchy or servers, waiters, busboys, just perfect food delivered, well, perfectly. All very formal.
I liked having a small conversation with Al about his life, and my experience as a waiter in college. Better than the Le Boefe experience for me.
I prefer to have a connecton with the people who do work for me, however slim, and I prefer a connection with the people I do work for.