April 8, 2010 | Short Order

Cesare Casella Defines Speed Dining at Salumeria Rosi

Photo: Steven Richter

        Cesare Casella is defining speed dining at Salumeria Rosi. You get 90 minutes to chat and chew. Occasionally you may be asked if you can do it in an hour. “Is this a trend?” one of my readers asks. "We were eating with new friends and wanted the leisure to linger over coffee. It also happened at I Sodi recently.”

         Apparently so. Call Salumeria for a 7:30 table and if one is free, you will be told you can have it if you leave by 9.  “But you should have enough time,” the reservationist will assure you. Recently I was told I could have a table at 8 if I cleared out by 9:30.  It was a Sunday and we were all trying for an early night so I said yes. Alas, the table’s 6:30 tenants refused to leave and we waited 20 minutes with the house offering wine to apologize.

Photo: Steven Richter

        Cesare’s plan to combat lingering in his precious, in-demand 24 seats seems to be working.  “It gives possibility for more people to eat. We are so small. I want to see the place full every hour of the day and no one waiting for the table. If you no like, you no need to accept the table,” says Cesare.

        Diners who fail honor their promise to dine speedily, will go on Salumeria’s “no salami” list. Later diners are likely to get time to linger unless there’s an after-theater rush. As Salumeria and other spots refine speed dining they may come up with levels of need: “special occasion,” “power business diner,” “eat and run.”

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