The Washington Post

Ask Tom Sietsema: Insects, restaurants and you

Mintwood Place is home to one of the citty’s best new kitchens, has already hosted the Obamas, and at least one brazen bug. (By Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)


Hi Tom, BF and I ate at Mintwood Place a few weeks ago, and while I loved the food (we had warm olives, steak tartare, and shared the pork for two with risotto and broccolini), the service was severely lacking. And, we definitely got sat at the worst seat in the house, right next to the waitstaff station. But the food was great, so its hard to complain. The reason for my post: during dinner, a large insect (NOT cockroach, i'm just not sure what it was) was crawling along the wall next to my head, as I was sitting in the booth. My boyfriend wanted to call a waiter over and make a big deal of it, and generally cause a scene. I just let the bug crawl along, and it eventually went under my booth seat and out of sight. Did I handle this right? Should I have flagged someone over like my boyfriend suggested? I mean, it's just a (large) harmless insect, right?

A: Tom Sietsema

You did the right thing.

No one wants to see critters roaming through a restaurant while they're eating, but  what exactly is a restaurant supposed to do in the middle of service and without drawing unwelcome attention to a rather small problem?  After paying, you could have mentioned what you saw, just in case the restaurant hasn't sprayed for insects recently, and then as more of  a courtesy than a rant.

Not to get all Carolyn Hax, but your BF sounds unpleasant.

Check out the the rest of the conversation, in which Tom sticks to his guns, while readers chime in on both sides of the bugs: big deal/not big deal divide.


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