blue plate special

by Jay Jimenez

RAFAELLA
178 Ninth Ave., NYC

Somewhere between heaven and earth lies Rafaella—a brand, spank- ing new eatery situated on a hip parcel of Manhattan real estate on the corner of West 21st and Ninth. Upon visiting the handsomely appointed establishment ... we discovered the restaurant exuded impeccable creative artistry in its interior design. ...

Our waiter, Peter the Inhospitable (not his real moniker, although it should be), afforded my supper companion and I with the brand of hospitality one would essentially expect to find in a federal prison: unsmiling, uncommuni- cative, uncomfortable and un- happy. How do I know what the ambiance of a federal prison is like? I was employed as a correctional officer in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for several years. I couldn't smile, I couldn't speak and I couldn't relax—much like our waiter, except that while my un- friendly airs were for self-preser- vation among dangerous inmates, Peter our waiter appeared to bask in his anti-social proclivi- ties. Despite this shortcoming, the Rafaella experience is overwhel-mingly positive. ...

I've since passed by Rafaella and am pleased to say your chance of experiencing an exquisite evening of dining there is five out of seven. (You figure it out.) The food is superb, the decor is inviting, and Sam Aba is a really sweet, hardworking man. But while this establishment is inaugurating its baby steps into the culinary world, I can only hope Aba and Kablouti's warmth and friendliness is mirrored by all of their staff. ...

Next magazine, New York, June 1999

Peter's Server Résumé

Restaurant: Osteria Laguna
Address: 209 East 42nd St, NYC
Dates worked: Sept. 2008 - April 2009
Mode of departure: FIRED
Restaurant: Bobby Van's Grill
Address: 135 West 50th St, NYC
Dates worked: June 2006 - Sept. 2007
Mode of departure: FIRED
Restaurant: Osteria Stella
Address: 135 West 50th St, NYC
Dates worked: Oct. 2004 - June 2006
Mode of departure: RESTAURANT CLOSED
Restaurant: Serafina Broadway
Address: 210 West 55th St, NYC
Dates worked: Sept. 2004 - Sept. 2004
Mode of departure: FIRED
Restaurant: Julian's
Address: 802 Ninth Ave, NYC
Dates worked: March 2002 - Sept. 2004
Mode of departure: FIRED (twice)
Restaurant:Caffé Rafaella
Address:134 Seventh Ave S, NYC
Dates worked:April 1995 - Dec. 2003
Modes of departure:FIRED (twice), QUIT (4x)
Restaurant: Firebird
Address: 365 West 46th St, NYC
Dates worked: Aug. 2003 - Oct. 2003
Mode of departure: QUIT
Restaurant: Casa La Femme
Address: 150 Wooster St, NYC
Dates worked: Jan. 2002 - March 2002
Mode of departure: FIRED
Restaurant: Panchito's
Address: 103 McDougal St, NYC
Dates worked: Jan. 2002 - Jan. 2002
Mode of departure: FIRED
Restaurant: French Roast
Address: 2340 Broadway, NYC
Dates worked: March 1999 - June 2000
Mode of departure: QUIT
Restaurant: Rafaella on Ninth
Address: 178 Ninth Ave, NYC
Dates worked: April 1999 - June 1999
Mode of departure:  FIRED (see right)
Restaurant: Ciccio & Tony's
Address: 320 Amsterdam Ave, NYC
Dates worked: June 1996 - Oct. 1996
Mode of departure: FIRED