Wish, Rinconcito el Chele, Go-Go and Vizcaya: Date With Seattle Man
Dear Dating Fairy,
Three wishes: First I'd like you to find me a foodie guy who lives in my area code. Heck, let's narrow it down to Miami. Secondly, I'd like a man who can afford a meal. The last one who took me out got a gorgeous dinner at Wish for free and still couldn't manage to leave a tip. More on that in a moment. And my last request is for you to provide me with someone who looks like a handsome celebrity, cooks like a champ, and is eager to hand over the keys to his brand-spanking new Ferrari. [The way I see it, if you can finally deliver upon the first two requests then the latter should be a piece of cake.]
Now I know these sound like strange requests, but I still held hope they would be granted when, a few months ago, I awaited an oil change at a car dealership. There I met a charming couple and, discovering they were new to town, I offered them my contact information in case they needed restaurant recommendations. Days later, we were already ranking local Indian restaurants via e-mail and unearthing which lamb vindaloo was the tangiest. Then they offered to fix me up with a guy who sounded like a great catch: tall, single, professional, and available. Granted, he lived not one or two but three time zones away, but one never knows right? [Wrong. One knows. She just didn't trust her instinct and got a little desperate for a different flavor. Sigh.]
|Photo by Riki Altman|
|At least something was glowing.|
Now before you accuse me of being some gold digger, I want to remind you that a) this was a first date and, therefore, he was in the position of wooer and b) I didn't exactly take the guy directly to Bal Harbour. I chauffeured him around, made his reservation at the beautiful Palms Hotel on South Beach at a significant discount, and made sure our activities and dining adventures were reasonable. But I did start to doubt why I had secured at table for 7 p.m. at Wish, arguably one of Miami's most romantic and pricey restaurants. I guess I just thought it would give him a good impression of what our city can offer and, truth be known, it's one of the few restaurants I can enjoy on the beach because of its clandestine location.
Do you know of that place? Wish is a small eatery found in The Hotel's garden, off 8th Street and Collins. About two dozen umbrella tables take up the entire patio, all radiating from a gurgling, mosaic fountain. The decorators were smart to play with light, offering it to diners via LED-lit menus and glowing plastic cubes in the cocktails. Unlike my nightmare experience at Quinn's, this secluded spot is immune to street vendors, vagrants, and scantily clad hookers.
|Photo by Riki Altman|
Undoubtedly tipped off by one of my buddies in public relations, the manager came over to the table to meet "that girl who does the dating column for New Times" and graciously insisted that our entire meal would be on the house. I did my best to argue--especially since I wanted to see how this unpredictable payer would perform when the check arrived--but the staffer wasn't having it.
Boiling inside, I pulled out two twenties and put them on the table. What kind of moron travels from across the country with only a few dollars to his name? Aside from that, what about giving the manager a credit card to run a few bucks on it? Or maybe asking for an ATM?
Though it pained me to do so, I dropped the hammer via phone the next morning. "Uh, I just don't think there's a spark between us and suppose it's best if you investigate Miami on your own," I said, feeling nauseous for not being entirely honest. The truth was, I simply couldn't financially afford three more days of entertaining this loser.
But we had one more meeting, just before his flight. I schlepped over to his hotel yet again and brought him to Le Bouchon du Grove for a previously scheduled breakfast with the couple who fixed us up. I wanted to tell her what this doofus was all about, but instead I just shoved a crepe into my mouth and let her gush on and on about what a cute couple we made. Then the bill arrived. The lady pulled out her credit card and I, of course, reached for mine.
"Oh Riki, no!" Seattle exclaimed, acting as if the mere thought of me reaching for my wallet was a travesty. "I've got it."
To his credit, he paid for my breakfast. And, as we departed the restaurant, he also handed me $40 to compensate for what I shelled out at Wish. But the damage was done.
So you see, Dating Fairy, my requests are justifiable. Well, at least the first two. And I'm willing to bend on the third if you supply a good guy soon. I'm afraid I might go broke, otherwise.
Wish/Long-Distance Dating Rating
Hip Factor: 4/5
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