You may have heard about The Napa Valley Wine Train that booted 11 women off the trip for laughing too loud a couple of weekends ago. If you haven’t, you can read the story HERE.
The day before these women were kicked off The Napa Valley Wine Train, my family and I were having our own wine fun at various wineries near Geneva, Ohio. There were no trains involved, but we did have an encounter with an incredibly rowdy group.
When my parents planned our trip, they settled on ending our day by wining and dining at their favorite local restaurant: Ferrante Winery and Restaurante. After an afternoon of wonderful tastings, we walked into Ferrante, put our name on the hostesses’ list, bought a tasting tray, and were quickly seated.
Ferrante’s dining room is divided into sections, and they sat us in an area that was a bit separated from the rest of the dining room. A larger table in our room finished as we sat down, and was quickly replaced with a party of 16.
The group, who I will refer to as the Ohio 16, entered the room as we were checking out our menus. There were 8 men and 8 women, all in their early to mid-thirties. Two of the women were pregnant. All of the men wore polo shirts and cargo shorts.
The Ohio 16 were well on their way to drunk-town.
The noise situation escalated quickly as the male portion of the Ohio 16 were loudly accusing one of the females of giving too many blowjob. Then someone pointed at a guy at their table wearing a baseball cap and screamed, “YOU SHOULD GIVE HIM A BLOWJOB!” Laughter erupted.
One of the smaller tables in the room stood to leave. As they exited, one of the Ohio 16 screamed “BYEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”, at them.
Another member of the Ohio 16 proceeded to randomly smack his bottle of wine on the table, producing a loud bang and then yelling that it was a gun. This happened four more times over the next half-hour.
The Ohio 16 were then laughing and listening to one of their members describing in loud detail some of her latest sexual exploits. She ended her story by yelling, “I mean, I’m so happy my employer hasn’t found out. I work for a Christian daycare. If they knew, they would fire me for sure.” Laughter erupted again.
The noise level of the Ohio 16 continued to rise and peaked when one of their party started screaming, “FUCK OBAMA!”, “I HATE OBAMACARE!!”, “FUCK OBAMACARE!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!”
Despite my support of free speech, I had reached my boiling point.
I stopped eating my dinner and excused myself to speak with the manager on duty.
I explained the situation:
“My parent’s and I came up from Pittsburgh to enjoy ourselves, and the party of 16 in our section is ruining our dinner. They are yelling about blowjobs, describing random sex acts, smacking bottles on the table and saying it’s a gun, and screaming “FUCK OBAMA!” I am not sure what to do as we are the only other table in the room, but they are ruining our evening.”
She said she would come up to the section and hang around to see if her presence would calm them down.
When I returned to our table, I asked my parents if anyone came by and they said no. They kept their eye out for the manager and never saw her.
Our waitress rushed by our table and asked us if we wanted any dessert. My parents who were both excited for cannoli and coffee said, “No thanks, we’ll take the check.”
I have never seen my parents refuse coffee after a dinner.
My father paid the check as one of the Ohio 16 continued to yell, “VOTE REPUBLICAN” and “VOTE GEORGE BUSH BACK INTO THE WHITE HOUSE!”
No one from the staff asked us about our meal, apologized, or offered to move us. So when we paid up, we got the hell out.
As we left the room, one of the Ohio 16 screamed “BYYEEEEEEEEEE!” at us.
On the way home, my parents admitted that their dinners had in fact been ruined, and that they’re done with Ferrante.
My mom pointed out that if it had been children acting that way, the situation would be handled by management.
“What a double standard”, she commented.
A few days after our trip, my mother called Ferrante to complain and they said the manager that had been on duty that night would call her back. The manager only called her back yesterday,
The manager, who is also part owner of the restaurant, said we could have a free appetizer next time we came in. My mother reassured her we would never patronize their business ever again.
We didn’t want free stuff from Ferrante. We wanted the restaurant to do something then and there. Move us to another section. Move the Ohio 16 to another section. Tell them that their behavior wouldn’t be tolerated in their establishment.
But instead we left angry; never to return. The Ohio 16 were rewarded for acting like a bunch of jags by being allowed to finish their meals in a private room as the rest of the tables had been driven out by their behavior.
The takeaway? If you want to terrorize your fellow diners in a restaurant, Ferrante Winery and Restaurante is the place for you. You can act a fool and be as offensive as you want without having to worry about getting escorted out by the police.
Perhaps the Ohio 16 should go to California to test the patrons of the Napa Valley Wine Train. I would bet on my life that those book club women had nothing on the Ohio 16, as it seems unlikely that those women were screaming about blowjobs or having a gun.
Never again Ferrante. Never again.
On a more positive note, I would like to give a quick shout out to the wineries we visited last Friday that offered us a wonderful time:
Stay classy Ohio!