Tag Archives: wine

When 3750 Means Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty


The English language can be a tricky thing. And a bottle of wine can cost a hell of a lot more than you might think.

Joe Lentini learned that the hard way.

During a business dinner at Bobby Flay’s Steak at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City recently, Lentini and two of his dinner companions decided to share a bottle of wine. Lentini let the waitress know that he didn’t know too much about wine and asked her for a recommendation.  She pointed to the menu and recommended a 2011 bottle of Screaming Eagle Oakville. Since he didn’t have his glasses handy and couldn’t read the menu, Joe asked her how much the bottle would set him back.

He had no idea how much of a setback this would be.

The waitress replied “Thirty seven fifty”.  That’s right – 3750

In Joe’s and his co-workers’ world, “thirty seven fifty” means $37.50.  Okay, so it was the Borgata Hotel & Casino in luxurious downtown Atlantic City, wheeler/dealer capital of Joisey. (I encourage you to insert as much sarcasm as possible there.) But your average…uh…Joe, would never dream that what the waitress meant was actually “Three thousand, seven hundred and fifty” dollars, or clams, or whatever we’re currently calling them in Jersey.

I would’ve been screaming like an eagle too.

Naturally, Joe and his wine drinking cohorts were dumbfounded. They called over the waitress, who stood by her muddled words, they called over the Manager, who stood by the waitresses’ muddled words. And in the end, in order to be permitted to leave the premises, Joe and his dining companions were able to cut a deal with the Manager, settling on a cool $2,500 instead.

Between you and me? I would’ve popped my cork.

The argument from the point of view of the restaurant was that this is a fine dining establishment at a well known, high end, casino where they think nothing of charging and selling bottles of wine ranging well into the thousands. It just so happens, that the wine Joe ordered was the second most expensive bottle on the menu.

So why did the waitress recommend that particular bottle to a relatively un-annointed wine drinker? A cynical and probably right on the money guess would be for the lucrative 18% tip she stood to receive from the bottle in addition to what she would make from the dinner check on a party of ten.

Should Joe have had his glasses at the ready? Sure. But should the waitress have pointed out the second most expensive bottle of wine to a vino newbie? Absolutely not. Should the Manager have charged Joe and his buddies $37.50 and eaten the rest? You bet. Could Bobby Flay afford to take the hit on this one? For freakin’ sure. Will he take an even bigger hit from the media fallout from the story? I sure hope so.

When all was said and done, and Joe was asked what he thought of the most expensive bottle of wine he will consume in his lifetime, his answer was “It was okay. It was good. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible. It was fine.”

And there you have it. So much for your tree-tousand-seven-huntred-and-fifty bottle-uh wine, Bobby!

Sorry Joe, I believe you just got flayed.

Why do I hear Billy Joel singing in the background? “A bottle of red…a bottle of white…costs so much I lost my appetite…”

Photo by It’s Holly / CC BY 

We were proud to support Harlem RBI’s “A League of Our Own” event again this year!

Beyond our love of sweet treats and all good things to eat, Alecia Bakery NYC was created so that we could help our community. We were honored to be able to provide Harlem RBI with our artisan caramels for “A League of Our Own” which celebrates the girls and women within their organization. The following is a quick note of thanks from Special Events Associate, Idalia Soto.

Hello Everyone! 
    I wanted to take a moment and say how thankful we are for the support you have given Harlem RBI. You helped make A League of Our Own so special and delicious! Our guest could not stop raving about how delicious the treats and wine were. We included your contact information in our gift bags that went to all our 300 guests. 
    Below are some photos highlighting the event and some of donations (I will send more once we get them from our photographer). I could not have worked with a better group to make this all possible. We were able to raise almost $80,000 dollars which was a new record for this event. That would not have been possible without you!
Thank you for allowing our youth to Play, Learn and Grow!
All the best, 
Idalia Soto 


Special Events Associate
Harlem RBI | DREAM Charter School

“A League of Our Own” wine & dessert tasting event benefiting Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School

I was having a particularly challenging personal day, during a particularly challenging personal week, during a particularly challenging personal month, when I received just the ray of sunshine I needed to begin parting the clouds of my psyche.

Taking a couple hours to escape reality one Wednesday afternoon, I decided to stroll through Chelsea Market. I love everything about the space from its origins as a Nabisco factory to the live webcam catching glimpses of visitors as they pass the waterfall to the myriad of vendors who now call the space home. I can’t fathom how anyone can wander through the market without buying a little something along the way.

Anyway, on that afternoon as I perused the bacon fat slicked brussels sprouts in Dickson’s Farmstand Meats’ window, I received a telephone call. Harlem RBI was hosting their 5th  annual “A League of Our Own” event on the evening of Thursday, March 7, at Radio City Music Hall, and they were wondering if Alecia Bakery NYC would be interested in participating.

Two years after we opened our doors to East Harlem boys in 1991, a group of girls marched into Harlem RBI offices and demanded a league of their own. Since then, girls have enjoyed a place to play, learn and grow at Harlem RBI. Today, Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School annually serve more than 600 girls and young women and will continue to support them as they become our leaders and change makers in the community and beyond.

 A League of Our Own is our fifth annual wine and chocolate tasting event set at the historic Radio City Music Hall. The elegant affair includes exquisite wines, chocolates and heavy hors d’oeuvres from premiere New York restaurants and dessert shops. A silent auction will support our programs in East Harlem. Join us as we celebrate the strength and perseverance of the girls and women at Harlem RBI and DREAM.

Interested? Very little could have pulled me away from ogling the gorgeous green orbs, but this proposition made my heart soar! After a bit more discussion, it was agreed that an assortment of our caramels would be most fitting for the event’s expected 300 guests. And with that simple decision, the smile returned to my face, all of the “garbage” that had been weighing on me began to fall away from my shoulders and I felt reenergized.

Its quite simple. Nothing makes me feel as good as when I’m helping others. And it was an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to help such an amazing organization.



The ol’ gal can still clean up pretty well!

I rarely have time to go out socially these days and even rarer still are the occasions that allow me to get “all dolled up,” as a dear friend commented recently. But, on the wet, blustery winter evening of the event, I walked into the glittering Grand Foyer of Radio City Music Hall feeling like a modern day Cinderella. Dessert stations presented attendees with such an array of chocolate desserts that even the most fanatical chocolate lover would have been dizzied by the amount of cacao on display. Wine glasses sparkled and clinked. And wooden trays of delectable savory morsels floated by on the arms of servers dressed in Harlem RBI tees.

It was an evening I will always remember, but perhaps not for the reasons you may think. You see, many years ago I was a public school teacher in two extremely challenging school districts (Flint, MI and Jersey City, NJ). I gravitated towards the students who were at most risk, who had the least hope, who needed the most encouragement. I found joy in being their personal cheerleader. So while all of the luxe accoutrements of the evening’s event were spectacular, it was the three women who spoke and the stories they told that captured my heart and made me a Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School supporter for life.

A beautiful young lady spoke of her “a-ha” moment when she realized what it was like to be a part of a team at Harlem RBI. One of the four highest ranking female executives at Delta Airlines shared her most terrifying professional moment — when she had to explain why she was qualified to continue to do the job she had successfully earned and loved, but due to a torrent of bad luck had failed miserably. And the effervescent Principal of DREAM Charter School recounted one of her most challenging cases — an 8 year old boy who when asked by his mother in the presence of the Principal, “Why did you say you aren’t going to college?” answered plainly, “You didn’t.”

All of the stories shared that evening served to remind me that every obstacle can be overcome and every goal can be reached with perseverance and the help and support from others. Oh, one more thing, and my favorite quote from the evening, “There’s a special place in hell for women in business who don’t help one another.”

Click on the image for more pics from the event!