Wait Watchers

Great Waiter Spied at Cantinetta

Amon Mende, how we love ye

By Kathryn Robinson June 22, 2009

Experiences with service at the hot new Wallingford ristorante Cantinetta have been mixed. Not mine.

Two recent visits have yielded service that was intelligent, affable, speedy, and warm. Both times the waiter was a genial young fella by the name of Amon Mende.

Irish first name, Portugese last name. Big beautiful smile. Mende was working the bar my first visit, evincing that uncanny barman’s knack for sustaining intriguing conversation while muddling a cocktail and pulling a cappuccino. And pointing out the best dinner items.

The second time he was our waiter on a very busy night. As such, he needed to turn our table in a hurry…but was so elegant and hospitable in his attentions to us he simply made it look like terrific service. If, as they say, good waiters are choreographers, this Mende was Balanchine.

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