by Miles Stadheim on
The worst dining experience I ever had took place at Dante's a few years ago complete with bizarre comments about race and women from Dante. Ten of my friends got together and decided they wanted to do the Dante's chocolate fondue thing. My friends asked if I wanted to join them and my now fiancé readily jumped at the opportunity to consume chocolate so we signed up. I figured, why not? I mean, the place has reptiles swimming around. We arrived at the restaurant with one extra guest who did not like chocolate but wanted to hang out with the group and get some dinner. The manager informed us our friend had to pay extra for the fondue tour (which she did not participate in) or eat by herself at the bar. We negotiated with the manager and thought we had come to an agreement she would just dine with us and order her own dinner but when the check came they charged us for her food as an extra guest. Bummer... but it gets way worse. The staff brought out all the fruits to dip in the fondue and Dante came out and introduced himself. He gives the chocolate tours himself and imparts some knowledge about different chocolates and how they are made (the chocolate was great/ the only pseudo-redeeming part of this experience). Before Dante gets started he has a staff member take our drink orders. Some people order beer, some order wine and my brother orders a coke by stating 'I'd like a soda so I can get free refills'. Dante and the server heard this and never bothered to correct him and they charged him something like 2.50 per coke 5 times. Dante began his chocolate tour. He is an older man and relatively easy to make conversation with. He tells us about the chocolate, where it comes from, how he gets it and about the restaurant he founded (hence the name). He mentioned Atlanta celebrities, like Ludacris, occasionally come in for drinks/ dinner. We asked what Ludacris is like to which Dante responded something to the effect that Ludacris is a nice man but rap music is the reason black men beat their women. Our jaws collectively fell open and an awkward silence washed over our table. I brushed the comments off as an old coot from a different time period making anachronistic crass statements, but god damn, what a weird thing to say to a group of people he's never met before. Finally the bill came. We looked over it and discovered they charged our friend to sit in addition to her normal dinner she ordered and the extra cokes my brother had refilled. We asked if they could correct the bill but they refused. In summary: we got hosed out of the extra sodas, they charged our friend as an extra head for the fondue (something like 25 dollars), and we got to hear Dante expound his personal opinions regarding African Americans, rap music, domestic violence and women. I just started laughing at how bad the dinner went at this point (what else can you do?). I think I tipped 2$ just because I think it took real effort to screw us that badly. tl;dr - The chocolate was good but Dante made weird racist comments and they charged us extra for someone to sit with us who ordered their own food/ had no interest in chocolate and charged for refills on cokes without correcting the person ordering to rack up a larger bill. Weirdos.