Diner asks waitress to recommend wine; gets surprise bill for $4,700

A New Jersey diner got a bigger bill than he expected after ordering wine with his meal.

A hundred times bigger, to be precise.

 Joe LentiniJoe Lentini, who said he only drinks about a glass of wine a month, ordered the bottle to split with two other diners in a party of 10 during an Oct. 27 business dinner at Bobby Flay Steak at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, according to NJ Advanced Media.

“I asked the waitress if she could recommend something decent because I don’t have experience with wine,” Lentini said. “She pointed to a bottle on the menu. I didn’t have my glasses. I asked how much and she said, ‘Thirty-seven fifty.'”

Lentini approved the sample poured by the sommelier, and he and his companions finished the bottle.

“It was OK. It was good,” Lentini said. “It wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible. It was fine.”

wine bottleAt the end of the dinner, the bill came to $4,700.61, including tax. The wine, Screaming Eagle, Oakville 2011, made up $3,750 of the total.

“I thought the wine was $37.50,” Lentini said.

After Lentini complained to the waitress and the maître d’, the restaurant reduced the price to $2,200. He and two other diners split the bill.

Borgata’s executive vice president, Joseph Lupo, said hotel officials had investigated the situation and determined that the restaurant had done nothing wrong. He said surveillance footage, which had no audio, backed up the version of events told by the waitress and sommelier, but he refused to share the video with NJ Advanced Media’s Bamboozled blog.

Instead, he insulted his customers.

“Due to these factors along with very detailed accounts from multiple sources regarding the incident, Borgata is confident there was no misunderstanding regarding the selection,” Lupo said. “We simply will not allow the threat of a negative story that includes so many unaccounted and questionable statements to disparage our integrity and standards, which Borgata takes great pride in practicing every day.”

Some customer service. Where’s Ralph Nader when you really need him?

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George Upper

George Upper is a U.S. Army special operations veteran, an academic, a poet, and an MBA who started writing political news and commentary when people stopped listening to his rants in person.


152 thoughts on “Diner asks waitress to recommend wine; gets surprise bill for $4,700

  1. Redd_Melendez says:

    He can sue on a contract breach and claim the $2200.00 was induced under duress.

    I would sue them for it.

    Its a lack of mutual assent issue and not a “he said, she said”

    He contracted for $37.50

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